Cricket is on the verge of returning to the Olympics for the first time in 128 years after the sport was put forward for inclusion at the 2028 Games.

There has only been one cricket match played at an Olympics, when Great Britain defeated hosts France in a low-scoring Test to win gold at the 1900 Games.

But a men’s and women’s T20 competition joins baseball/softball, flag football, lacrosse and squash in being endorsed by the organisers of the Los Angeles Games as additional sports for five years’ time.

LA28 said in a statement its proposal will be “reviewed” by the International Olympic Committee executive board for “ratification” at the 141st IOC session in Mumbai on October 16.

International Cricket Council chairman Greg Barclay was cautiously optimistic about the news, two years on from the governing body announcing it would bid to have the sport included at the Olympics.

He said: “We are delighted that LA28 have recommended cricket for inclusion in the Olympics.

“Whilst this is not the final decision, it is a very significant landmark towards seeing cricket at the Olympics for the first time in more than a century.

Australia's women's side won gold at the 2022 Commonwealth Games (Adam Davy/PA)
Australia’s women’s side won gold at the 2022 Commonwealth Games (Adam Davy/PA)

“I’d like to thank LA28 for their support during the new sport evaluation process over the last two years and we look forward to the final decision being taken at the IOC Session, in India, during the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup next week.”

A T20 tournament was suggested by the ICC due to its popularity and brevity ahead of Tests and ODIs, as well as the requirement for the format to have a World Cup, ruling out shorter spectacles such as T10.

The success of women’s cricket in recent years has also been a driving factor after an eight-team tournament won by Meg Lanning’s Australia side was held at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

LA28 chairperson Casey Wasserman said: “The proposed sports ignite the imagination on the field of play and drive culture off it.

Squash is also set for the Olympics (Mike Egerton/PA)
Squash is also set for the Olympics (Mike Egerton/PA)

“They’re relevant, innovative and community-based, played in backyards, schoolyards, community centres, stadiums and parks across the US and the globe.

“They will bring new athletes to the Games, engage diverse fanbases and expand the Games’ presence in digital spaces, further amplifying LA28’s mission to deliver an unparalleled experience.”

Squash, meanwhile, is set for its inaugural appearance at an Olympics in 2028, having missed out on a number of occasions, as is flag football – a non-contact alternative to American football.

Baseball/softball was dropped from Paris 2024 having been selected for Tokyo 2020, with host cities able to submit sports they want adding to the schedule. Lacrosse has been on the Olympic programme on five occasions but not since 1948.

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