Cricket is now a part of the Olympics. The decision to include the game in Los Angeles 2028 was approved by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) on Monday.

Niccolo Campriani, sports director of the Los Angeles 2028 Organising Committee, even hinted that Indian cricket star Virat Kohli may have played a role in the inclusion of the sport. For the first time since 1900, the gentleman’s game will make a return at the Olympics.

"My friend here, Virat Kohli, is the third most followed athlete in the world on social media with 340 million followers. That's more than LeBron James (NBA basketball star), Tom Brady (American football icon), and Tiger Woods (American golf legend) combined. It is a ultimate win-win situation for LA28, IOC and cricket community as cricket will be showcased on a global stage, in order to grow it beyond traditional cricketing nations and give it access to untapped communities of athletes and fans,” Campriani said at the IOC 141st session in Mumbai on Monday. For the 2028 Olympics, the committee has picked the T20I format.

Kohli’s Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Royal Challengers Bangalore recognised Campriani’s comments.

In a post shared on social media platform X, the team wrote, “Kohlified! The Face and the Brand, not just for RCB or Team India, but for Cricket as a sport too! Sports Director at LA28 explains why it’s a win-win to have Cricket at the Olympics.”

Kohli’s mention at the IOC’s latest session does not come as a surprise.

Thanks to his prolific batting and innumerable record-breaking performances, the former India skipper has emerged as one of the finest cricketers of the modern generation. Under Kohli’s captaincy, India even claimed the top spot in the ICC Test rankings. In terms of individual records, Kohli is currently just two centuries away from Sachin Tendulkar’s overall record of 49 ODI tons. Kohli, who is representing India at the World Cup 2023, has already smashed two half-centuries in three matches.

Copyright © 2022 Khaleej Times. All Rights Reserved. Provided by SyndiGate Media Inc. (