Smriti Mandhana believes winning Olympic gold would be on a par with a World Cup win ©Getty Images

Indian cricket star Smriti Mandhana believes that winning Olympic gold in the sport at Los Angeles 2028 would be just as big as World Cup glory.

Cricket seems certain to regain its Olympic place in the American city with the move due to be confirmed at the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Session in Mumbai between October 15 and 17.

The IOC and its President Thomas Bach are keen to tap into the sport's money making potential, particular in India and the subcontinent where the world-leading Indian Premier League generates massive television deals.

Increasing interest in the Olympics in India, and its population of more than 1.4 billion, is another goal.

Despite its size, India has won just 10 gold medals in its Olympic history and eight of these have come in hockey.

Mandhana, who was named Women's Cricketer of the Year in 2022, led India to a first Asian Games title at Hangzhou 2022 yesterday.

She top scored with 46 as opener in a 19-run victory over Sri Lanka.

India won a first Asian Games gold medal in cricket in Hangzhou yesterday ©Getty Images
India won a first Asian Games gold medal in cricket in Hangzhou yesterday ©Getty Images

The 27-year-old also appeared at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham last year where India won silver.

At Tokyo 2020, Neeraj Chopra won javelin gold for India - a moment Mandhana said left her with "goosebumps".

"We have an opportunity to be there and triumph," she said, according to The Indian Express.

"I don't think we'll just look for a podium finish because when the flag goes higher and the national anthem plays, it's the best feeling.

"It feels pretty special to contribute to the Indian tally of medals, because we don't get to do that a lot as cricketers. 

"Just being part of the whole Indian contingent just feels different.

"As cricketers, we watch a lot of Olympic sports and follow all the athletes that win medals for us. 

"It would be amazing if it happened, because we would look forward to it as much as a World Cup."

Cricket has appeared once before at the Olympics - in 1900 in Paris.