SACRAMENTO – Today, Assemblymember Ash Kalra (D-San José) announces his intention to introduce an Assembly Resolution to recognize and support the sport of cricket in California. Cricket is played all over the world, especially in South Asian countries, Commonwealth nations, and the United Kingdom. It was recently announced that cricket will be played in the 2028 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, California, as one of five new sports to be included. Cricket was last seen during the 1900 Olympics in Paris, France. In light of this momentous inclusion, the state should conduct a feasibility study assessing how we can better support cricket in terms of infrastructure and organizational needs ahead of the 2028 Olympics.
“As the first Indian-American to be elected to the State Legislature, I am honored and excited to introduce a resolution about cricket,” said Assemblymember Kalra. “Cricket is more than just a sport internationally, especially in South Asian countries where it invokes a sense of national identity and pride, while also requiring tremendous agility, focus, and strategy. As California prepares to host cricket at the 2028 Olympics, we must use this time to raise awareness and ensure we are ready to bring cricket to the ultimate world stage.”
Cricket holds particular importance within the South Asian diaspora and broader international community as exemplified by the record-breaking Cricket World Cup taking place right now in India—garnering over 364 million viewers so far. With growing global interest around cricket and California set to host the sport in the Olympics for what will be the first time in 128 years, the timing is critical for a state legislative effort in support of cricket.
“As we revel in the glow of California Cricket Academy's gala yesterday, we are heartened by the support of our ever-expanding community of those devoted to the sport and spirit of cricket. California Cricket Academy has grown from 23 kids to a thriving community of over 400 players, playing more than 200 games a year,” said Hemant Buch, President and Founder of California Cricket Academy. “We are very grateful for Assemblymember Kalra’s support and the encouragement he extends to our young cricket players in the Bay Area. We thank him for acknowledging the growth of the game and his initiative to take this to the next level. As our sport continues to gain recognition, we look with great anticipation toward the 2028 Olympics. It's not just about runs and wickets; it's about the boundless spirit of a new generation embracing cricket.”
“As a lifelong cricket player, I have seen firsthand the joy it brings young people who learn this sport and the way it encourages them to be active and make positive choices. I am thrilled that the movement toward cricket is growing here in California day-by-day and I appreciate Assemblymember Kalra's interest in a resolution so we can join other states in elevating this sport,” said Jatin Patel, Chair of the American Cricket Education Council and Cricket Hall of Famer with Lifetime Achievement Award.
Indiana was the first state to add cricket as a physical education option to their in-class school curriculum in 2014. In the years since, other states such as Illinois and Michigan have passed supportive resolutions for the sport of cricket.
Assemblymember Ash Kalra represents California’s 25th Assembly District, which encompasses the majority of San José, including downtown and open space areas in southeast Santa Clara County. He was first elected in 2016, becoming the first Indian American to serve in the California Legislature in state history, and was re-elected to his fourth term in 2022. Assemblymember Kalra is the Chair of the Committee on Labor and Employment and also serves as a member on the Housing and Community Development, Judiciary, Transportation, and Water, Parks, and Wildlife committees.