Cricket one step closer to inclusion at the Olympic Games LA28
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The Organising Committee of the 2028 Los Angeles Olympic Games (“LA28”) have proposed Cricket along with Baseball/Softball, Flag Football, Lacrosse and Squash for potential inclusion in the 2028 Olympic sport program.
The IOC is expected to make a decision on the proposal at the IOC Session scheduled to be held on the 15th to the 17th of October.
We at the JCA welcome the move towards including cricket at LA28 and look forward to an official decision at the IOC Session.
Cricket is said to be the second largest sport in the world due to the size of its fan base and broadcasting rights fees. It is particularly popular in countries and regions with strong traditional ties to the UK, with strong teams and professional leagues on all five continents.
It is said that the broadcasting rights fee per game for the IPL in India has surpassed that of the Premier League in England and is now the second highest after the NFL in the United States.
Since around 2000, the International Cricket Council (“ICC”) has been supporting the growth of the game in other parts of the world, and the game has been growing significantly. As the shorter, more action packed T20 format has become mainstream, cricket has attracted new participants and fans, and its popularity is growing rapidly.
In Japan, “cricket towns” or centres of excellence, are spreading from Kanto to the rest of Japan, including Sano City, Tochigi Prefecture; Akishima City, Tokyo; Sammu City, Chiba Prefecture; Kawasaki City, Kanagawa Prefecture; Fuji City, Shizuoka Prefecture; Kaizuka City, Osaka Prefecture; and Watari Town, Miyagi Prefecture, and the number of players is also increasing significantly.
The number of people playing the game has also grown significantly, with Japan’s U19 national team participating in the World Cup, the Sano International Cricket Ground and Kaizuka Municipal Drone and Cricket Field being built to host international matches, the first Japanese professional player, and the establishment of a cross party parliamentary group to study the benefits of cricket.
Through our mission of building bridges that bring people, communities, and nations closer together in order to live a healthier lifestyle and enrich lives through understanding different cultures and lifestyles, we have worked hard to create value through cricket in Japan.
We continue to strive for the sustainable development of cricket by contributing to the development of local communities and mutual understanding through cricket. We are building pathways for people who have been exposed to cricket to enjoy it throughout their lives, and creating a cricket community where diverse people can enjoy the game together.
We have also focused on strengthening our organisation by establishing a governance structure, including an independent board of directors, that eliminates conflicts of interest and emphasises professionalism, and by building a sustainable financial structure.
In 2008, we formulated a long-term strategy which centred on “City of Cricket Development” and launched the first “City of Cricket” project in Sano City, Tochigi Prefecture. 2013 was the first phase of our five-year strategy, “A Shining Sport of Choice“, before the second five-year strategy, “Building a Brighter Future” was released and ran from 2018 to 2022.
During this time we have worked on the development of cricket centres and “Cities of Cricket” beyond the Kanto region as well, and introducing social (modified) cricket, which can be enjoyed easily by first-time players.
Under the current strategy for 2023-2027, “Kaika: Time to Flourish“, we state that: ““By 2027, Cricket will be recognised as a sport flourishing in Japan, attracting new fans, participants and partners through: Competing on the world stage, Reaching new audiences, Creating social value for all, and Providing professional opportunities.”