The answer to why Cricket is not a part of the Olympics isn’t simple. 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.
What are the factors working against cricket in the Olympics?
Cricket has a huge fanbase and may be only second to football. But when it comes to being part of the Olympics, the sport has always gone down in the pecking order. Cricket featured in the quadrennial event more than a century ago and finally, ICC is making efforts to make it feature in the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics.
There are a lot of factors that go against Cricket when it comes to being included in the Olympics. A whopping 105 countries play cricket in modern times but when it comes to popularity, it is only in a few countries. Moreover, Test status has only been given to 12 countries and very few, like India, England and Australia, constantly play a lot of matches.
Also, Cricket is not popular in countries that traditionally have been dominating the Olympic Games. More often than not, the hosting nation is not known for Cricket and it has played out against the sport. For example, the 2024 Olympics is to be played in France’s Capital, Paris and the country is not even into cricket.
Apart from that, another factor that works against cricket is time. Test cricket is played over five days, 50-over format needs almost 8 hours to end, while even a 20-over fixture takes around 4 hours to finish. Given the time allocated for the Olympics, which in 2024 is 15 days (more often it is the same), it is tough for a lot of countries to participate in Cricket.
Moreover, technically too, the cost of hosting a cricket match is a little too much and when there is no interest in the host nation itself, it becomes tough to arrange all the things. Technology plays a crucial role in cricket at times and to bring all of that into a nation, not into cricket is very tough.
Several factors play a role in cricket not being included in the Olympics and one can only hope that the sport is included at the event in 2028.
Why is cricket dropped from the Paris Olympic Games?
The 2024 Olympic Games are set to be played in Paris. Cricket is not a part of the Olympic Games of 2024 and is still not confirmed for the 2028 Olympics. It is no surprise that the sport is not included in the 2024 Olympics as, since 1900, cricket has never been part of the Olympic Games.
Moreover, the country where the 2024 Olympic Games are happening, France, is not known for cricket. Football is one of the most popular sports in the country and their team also won the FIFA World Cup in 2018 and was the runners-up in the recently concluded mega event in Qatar.
With Cricket not being the main sport, the required stadiums and facilities won’t be available in France and it could be one of the main reasons why cricket is dropped from the 2024 Olympic Games.
When did cricket make an appearance at the Olympics?
This is a pretty fascinating story to know for a cricket. Cricket did make an appearance at the Olympics only once and it was in 1900. Perhaps, Cricket was included in the 1896 Athens Olympics too but it was shelved as enough entries didn’t come.
However, four nations – Great Britain, Belgium, France, and Holland – were scheduled to participate in cricket in the 1900 Olympics in Paris. But at the last moment, Belgium and Holland withdrew from the competition and the remaining two countries, Great Britain and France played for the Gold Medal.
The match was played across two days in the Test format. Batting first, Great Britain scored 117 runs in their first innings before getting all out. Frederick Cuming was the top-scorer for them with 38 runs. In response, France was skittled for just 78 runs in their first innings with FW Christian starring with the seven-wicket haul.
In their second essay, Great Britain piled on the lead smashing 145 runs for the loss of five wickets before declaring the innings. They set the target of 185 runs for France to win the Gold Medal. However, the hosts couldn’t handle the heat and were bundled out for just 26 runs losing the game by a whopping 158 runs.
Montagu Toller was the star this time for Great Britain with the ball picking up seven wickets while conceding just nine runs. Alfred Powlesland also bowled well to pick up a three-for and helped his side attain glory at the Olympics.
This was the first and last time Cricket was played at the Olympics and it has been more than 120 years since then. With ICC making a lot of efforts to include Cricket in the Los Angeles Olympics, fans can only hope for the best.
Is cricket included in the 2024 Olympics?
No. Cricket is not included in the 2024 Olympics.
When was the first time cricket was included in the Olympics?
Cricket was included in the Olympics in 1896 Athens Olympics. With not enough participants, it was shelved. In the 1900 Paris Olympics, Cricket was officially played for the first time. Great Britain and hosts France played a game after Belgium and Holland pulled out.