It’s indeed a dream come true moment for cricket enthusiasts as the executive committee of the International Olympic Committee authorized the inclusion of cricket in the programme for the 2028 Games in Los Angeles on Friday.
Following a meeting of the IOC's executive board in Mumbai, IOC President Thomas Bach revealed that the LA organisers' bid for Twenty 20 cricket, the sport's shortest recognised international format, had been accepted.
Cricket will join baseball/softball, flag football (a non-contact form of American football), squash, and lacrosse as one of five new sports.
However, the inclusion of these new sports will be decided by a vote of the IOC membership, which is slated on Monday, before they can be certified as part of the 2028 Games.
"For the IOC, it is a great opportunity to engage with new athlete and fan communities," Bach added.
"We see the growing popularity of T20 cricket and we look forward to welcoming the world's best players to the US in 2028," he said in a statement.
The Los Angeles Chiefs have proposed a six-team event in both men's and women's T20 cricket, with the US poised to field teams as the host nation.
However, no clear decision on the number of teams or how they are qualified will be made until cricket is formally ratified on Monday.
Cricket was last played in the Paris Olympics in 1900, when a British team defeated a French squad.
With the assistance of the Olympic movement, the sport has been making strides towards a return to the Games for more than a decade.
Adding cricket to the Olympic calendar is a logical financial decision.
It would enter the rich South Asian market, recruiting followers from India and Pakistan.
T20 cricket is the shortest international format in the sport.
The Indian Premier League, which features worldwide cricket players, has helped India become the sport's undisputed economic driving force, thanks to legions of fans and rich media deals in a country where the game is nearly a religion.
Meanwhile, the IOC has revoked the International Boxing Association of its recognition following a dispute over how the sport is governed, leaving the sport's participation at the 2028 Games in doubt.
Boxing has been included in every Olympic Games since 1920 and will be featured again in Paris next year.
"We want boxing on the show," Bach stated. "We have no problem, with boxing or boxers -- we have a problem with the governing body."