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What's Virat Kohli's Role in Cricket's Entry into Olympics?

© AP Photo / Asanka Brendon RatnayakeIndia's Virat Kohli reacts after winning the T20 World Cup cricket match against Pakistan in Melbourne, Australia, Sunday, Oct. 23, 2022.
India's Virat Kohli reacts after winning the T20 World Cup cricket match against Pakistan in Melbourne, Australia, Sunday, Oct. 23, 2022.  - Sputnik India, 1920, 16.10.2023
Virat Kohli's popularity transcends continents - the Indian cricketer is currently the world's third most popular sports star on social media.
The announcement of cricket's inclusion in the Olympics on Sunday came with a Virat Kohli connection.

Interestingly, the widely played sport couldn't make do without Virat Kohli's mention during the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) session in Mumbai during the weekend.

Kohli More Popular Than Tiger Woods, LeBron James

During the discussions about the return of cricket to the Olympics, Niccolo Campriani, a member of the organizing committee of the 2028 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, pointed out that Kohli was the "third most followed athlete" on the planet and his fan following was larger than many prominent American sports stars, including basketball icon LeBron James, American football legend Tom Brady and golf great Tiger Woods.
"My friend here Virat Kohli, he is the third most followed athlete in the world on social media with 340 million followers. That's more than LeBron James, Tom Brady and Tiger Woods 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 during the event in Mumbai.
At present, only two sporting superstars, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Lionel Messi, are ahead of Kohli in social media popularity.

While the Delhi-born cricketer has over 369 million followers on various social media networks, former Real Madrid and Manchester United forward Cristiano Ronaldo tops that list with 885m. On the other hand, Ronaldo's great rival Messi has over 605m followers.

Cricket’s All-Time Great

Furthermore, Kohli has already sealed his place among the all-time greats of cricket.
With more than 25,000 runs to his name in international cricket, he is only behind the legendary Sachin Tendulkar, Sri Lanka's Kumar Sangakkara, ex-Australia captain Ricky Ponting, and Sangakkara's compatriot Mahela Jayawardene.
Cricket will now be an Olympic competition for the first time since 1900, with both the men's and women's sides featuring in the 2028 Los Angeles Games.
India's Mohammed Siraj celebrates the wicket of Sri Lanka's Dhananjaya de Silva during the Asia Cup final cricket match between India and Sri Lanka in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Sunday, Sept. 17, 2023. - Sputnik India, 1920, 13.10.2023
Cricket Added to 2028 Los Angeles Olympics
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