The wildly successful return of cricket to the Commonwealth Games fold has given the sport a boost in finding a place in the Olympics. The women’s T20 event- played in front of packed crowds- culminated in a tense final at Edgbaston. Australia pipped India to gold, but the ramifications of the final, and the tournament as a whole, stretch beyond Birmingham. With Los Angeles 2028 organizers observing the show, T20 cricket lived up to its billing as a viable variant across multi-sports events.

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For the women- enjoying the spotlight to themselves in the absence of their male counterparts- an Olympics berth would be the stuff of dreams. England captain Nat Sciver was excited by cricket’s impact on the Commonwealth Games, hoping it would help push it towards the Olympics:

“This Commonwealth Games has been an incredible experience and I think the crowds have shown that people really love coming to watch whatever team it is. Having that new audience from the Commonwealth Games where everyone’s happy to go and watch any sport is something really special and something that can only help women’s cricket…I’d love for cricket to be in an Olympics,” quotes JapanTimes.

Gold medal winner and Australia’s star turn against India, Ash Gardener, is enthused by the “fantastic 10 days of competition” which drew in crowds by the droves.

“You just have to look at how many people came out and watched it, every single game, even when England wasn’t playing. It’s amazing to see that people are just supporting women’s cricket, and the best thing about this whole event is that it’s growing the game globally, and that’s what us as cricketers want to do,” she remarked.

New Zealand’s bronze-medal-winning captain Sophie Devine was similarly eager to travel to the Olympics. “Having played in a lot of world events, this was certainly something really different and really special. Fingers crossed, we’ve got our foot in the door, and there’s a few more Commonwealth Games and the Olympics too.”

Also Read: Cricket returns to Commonwealth Games: Cricketers recall experiences from 1998 edition

The ICC has long pressed for a berth in the Olympics, but its feasibility was minimal given the long-drawn nature of matches (even ODIs) and its limited popularity. However, Twenty20 is the perfect brew to help spread cricket globally while being feasible enough for an Olympic berth. Although the ICC head honchos would like to push for its inclusion in the Los Angeles Games, it seems a long shot. But the 2032 Olympics- to be held in Brisbane- offers just the setting for cricket’s second coming.