The Olympic Snub: Why Cricket is not in the Olympics

The Olympic Snub: Why Cricket is not in the Olympics

The second most popular sport in the world, Cricket is not in the Olympic games. While it sounds bizarre, it is a harsh reality to see one of the oldest sports given the Olympic Snub and not featuring in the prestigious Olympics. This article explains the reasons and the possible future scenarios to see how the game of Cricket can be part of the Olympics, which will give the game the much-needed push to become globalized.

Presented By: Raghunath Nair

Date: 13/08/2023



Introduction to Cricket and the Olympics

Introduction to Cricket and the Olympics

Cricket’s popularity in the past few decades has seen exponential viewership for the game of Cricket. The game is extremely popular in the Asian Sub Continent which garners viewership more than any other sport played in the globe. Football is the only exception to this rule.

Cricket did feature in the Summer Games only once before, at Paris 1900, more than a century ago and after its Olympic snub for more than a century, ICC is putting their might and effort to include Cricket in the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has recommended six-team T20 competitions for both men and women to the Los Angeles Olympic Games organising committee.

Cricket returned to the Commonwealth Games for the first time in 24 years, with the first women’s tournament played out at the multi-sport event in Birmingham 2022, a giant first step towards the Olympics.


Why the Snub in the quadrennial event?

2024 Olympic Games in Paris

France will host the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris. Cricket, the second most popular sport in the globe is not part of the 2024 Summer games. It is also not officially confirmed if Cricket may be part of the following Olympics in 2028 yet.

Today not many are aware that the game of Cricket is now played in more than 105 countries. While these countries may take time to match the level of game played by the top-level teams, it is encouraging to see the speed at which the game of Cricket has spread in the last few decades.

There are many factors and reasons which make the game of Cricket not fit into the Olympic schedule

Global Popularity

Even though the game is played in 105 countries, the game is only popular in a few countries.

Countries dominating the Olympic games like USA and China (in participation and in medal tally) do not play the game of Cricket.

If the Host Nation does not play the game, it will likely not get included in the game list. Only popular sports are included to keep the interest levels high keeping spectator turnouts in mind.

The Olympics in 2024 is Hosted by France, a non-cricket playing country.




All games in the Olympics are conducted and finished in 15 days. Games are short and under 1-2 hours. Fast-paced games help to determine winners within the stipulated days of the Olympics.

Cricket is a long outdoor sport. Even the T20 game, the current shortest official format of Cricket needs 3-4 hours to complete. This will restrict the participation of many teams in the competition unlike in football.


Technical Game

Technical Game

Cricket is a technical game. Factors like preparation of the pitch, weather conditions, availability of Cricket grounds, match officials and trained ground staff becomes difficult if the host country is not aware of the sport.



ICC Reluctance

ICC creates enough viewership and popularity for the sport even without the Olympics. ICC is guilty as they have not done enough to push their case due to this reason and probably believe it may not be a popular Olympic Event.


Cricket did make it to the Olympic Once

In the 1896 Athens Olympics, Cricket was on the list of games but later withdrawn due to lack of entries for participation.

It was however part of the 1900 Games with 4 nations competing. They were Great Britain, Belgium, France, and Holland. Belgium and Holland withdrew from the competition which made the remaining two countries Great Britain and France play for Gold.

During those times only Test Cricket was played and the game was played for only 2 Days. Great Britain won the Gold by 158 runs, defending a target of 185 runs in the second innings.

This was the last game being played in the Olympics and since then for 120 years, Cricket has never been considered in the Olympics

Blog Link:- Why Has Cricket Failed to Become a Global Sport? 


How can Cricket be a part of the Olympics?

ICC is putting a request to the administrators of the games to include Cricket in the Olympic games.

Ideally, the host country on request, can add or delete a game from the list of games during the 15-day carnival of sports. based on the popularity of the game in accordance with their sports culture.

While France is not a Cricket playing nation, it is highly unlikely that any request to add Cricket would be made.

US T20 League

The Next Olympic games after Paris will be in The United States in 2028, which also is not a cricket-playing nation but efforts are being put in place to popularize the game of Cricket in the USA.

The USA recently got an affiliate nation status in Cricket and was part of the affiliate nations World cup qualification Tournament. This was a great step towards globalizing the game.

The IPL franchise model was deliberately duplicated in the USA – The Major League Cricket

The Tournament was played in a fully packed stadium with an attendance of nearly 70,000 fans across the games.

Live broadcasts were made available in 87 countries around the world and on Willow TV and CBS Sports Network in the United States.

The landmark competition garnered extensive local, national, and international news coverage.

Justin Geale, Tournament Director, Major League Cricket said:
“The inaugural season of Major League Cricket has surpassed our expectations.

The success of MLC has given the sport an incredible platform to build from in the world’s biggest commercial market.”

Even if Cricket gets an entry in Los Angeles, it will not be binding on the nation that will host the following next Olympic Games.

Cricket can become a regular only if there is involvement and money pumped by the International Olympic Committee.

The IOC added baseball/softball, karate, skateboarding, sport climbing, and surfing to the program for Tokyo 2020.

For Los Angeles 2028, Cricket is eyeing a fresh guard.



The answer to why Cricket is not a part of the Olympics is complex. For various reasons, the sport hasn’t featured at the prestigious Olympics Games since 1900. However, it made its return to the Birmingham Commonwealth Games in 2022 through the women’s T20 tournament, which garnered a huge response from the crowd, and many were optimistic.

In Cricket, ICC World Cup is the Ultimate trophy. With packed international cricket calendars, and after participating in many ICC tournaments across formats, the need to play in the Olympics may be low. This means there is a need to change the mindset of the current Cricket playing nations. ICC may need to look at reducing or dismantling one format of the game to accommodate the Olympics to globalize the game of Cricket.

To make the game truly globalized, associate Nations need to play with the top 10 cricket playing nation or be allowed to practice with the big teams to garner experience and this helps them to improve the level of games play at associate-level tournaments

With ICC now making a lot of efforts to include Cricket in the Los Angeles Olympics, fans can only hope for the best.



Is Cricket on the list of games for the 2024 Olympics

Unfortunately, No, ICC is trying to include it in the 2028 games


How many Times Cricket has been played in the Olympics

Only once in 1900.


Which format will see a reduction or complete dismantling in its current form in the near future?

One Day International (50 overs Cricket) may be reduced and limited to World Cups or there is a fair chance of extreme changes in the format itself


Which format best suits the Olympics

Knock out T20 tournament

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