Virat Kohli’s instrumental role in Cricket’s inclusion at the 2028 Olympics
CHENNAI, INDIA - OCTOBER 08: Virat Kohli of India bats during the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup India 2023 between India and Australia at MA Chidambaram Stadium on October 08, 2023 in Chennai, India. (Photo by Matthew Lewis-ICC/ICC via Getty Images)

Finally, Cricket is now an Olympic sport. After a 128-year absence, the popular sport returns to the quadrennial spectacle. Cricket was included in the Olympic Games in 1900. Cricket (men’s and women’s T20Is) will return to the Los Angeles Olympic Games in 2028. Cricket, along with lacrosse (sixes), baseball/softball, flag football, and squash, is one of the additional sports for the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles.

The decision was officially announced on Monday, and perhaps cricket’s biggest star, Virat Kohli, was mentioned, with a hint that Kohli’s massive fan base may have pushed the organizers to include cricket in the Olympics. Kohli is a global sports ambassador. In May, he became the first Indian to reach 250 million Instagram followers. In terms of Instagram followers, he is only second to football giants Cristiano Ronaldo (585 million) and Lionel Messi (464 million).

During the International Olympic Committee (IOC) 141st session, during which the decision to include the sport in the Olympics was taken, Niccolo Campriani, the Sports Director of the Los Angeles 2028 organizing Committee said my friend here Virat Kohli, he is the third most followed athlete in the world on social media with 340 million followers. That’s more than LeBron James (NBA basketball star), Tom Brady (American football icon), and Tiger Woods (American golf legend) combined.

It is an ultimate win-win situation for LA28, IOC, and the cricket community as cricket will be showcased on a global stage, in order to grow beyond traditional cricketing nations and give it access to untapped communities of athletes and fans, Campriani added. When cricket was last played, Great Britain clinched the gold medal by defeating France.

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