After lobbying to include cricket, India opts out of Asian Games
NEW DELHI: Having lobbied to get cricket into the Asian Games, regional power India has decided against sending a team to Guangzhou due to a dispute over the quality of players available for selection.
The decision by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) was a disappointment for games officials, India's Olympic Association and a setback in the sport's bid to spread its international reach via multi-sports events.
``The Asian Cricket Council worked really hard to get cricket included in the Asian Games but the Indian cricket board's decision is very disappointing,'' Indian Olympic Association secretary-general Randhir Singh said of the BCCI's decision.
Given the crowded cricket calendar _ India is currently hosting a test series against New Zealand after playing two home tests against Australia while India was hosting the Commonwealth Games last month _ it was always going to be difficult for the test-ranked Asian cricket nations to send first-choice squads to the Asian Games.
However, India elected to not even send a second-string squad despite its depth of talent, whereas Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh will all send teams to help cricket make its debut in Guangzhou.
In the absence of a consensus about the quality of the team _ Indian Olympic Association officials wanted top-class players _ the BCCI announced it would not send teams to contest either the men's or the women's championship.
Bangladesh will be among the favorites for the Asian Games gold. While its team was not a first-choice lineup, it was expected to be the better of the teams from the other major Asian cricket nations.
Afghanistan and the United Arab Emirates _ two nations where cricket is improving _ along with host China and Oman will be contenders for medals at the newly-built Guangdong University of Technology Stadium, where the pitch is being prepared by Bangladesh groundsman Jashim Uddin.
``It's been a tough road. But for a first-time effort, the facilities are excellent,'' Uddin was quoted as saying by The Hindu newspaper last month.
India has previously participated in cricket at multi-sports events. It took part in the 1998 Commonwealth Games in Malaysia, when the BCCI split the top players between the Kuala Lumpur event and a series against Pakistan being played in Canada.
Sachin Tendulkar, regarded as India's greatest player, was in that Commonwealth Games squad but India was still no match for other full-strength sides. South Africa beat Australia in the final, with New Zealand taking the bronze medal.
However, cricket was not included in 2010 Commonwealth Games, held in New Delhi, due to BCCI reluctance.
The non-inclusion in the Commonwealth Games, and India's lack of participation in these Asian Games, will hurt efforts to have Twenty20 cricket included in the Olympic Games.
Without a presence in such multi-sports events, or the backing of the BCCI _ which is financial powerbase of international cricket _ it will be more difficult to have nations such as China keep up efforts to develop their own cricket programs.
Cricket In, but India Out
Posted 05 November 2010 - 11:47 PM
Posted 06 November 2010 - 02:06 AM
Posted 06 November 2010 - 09:24 AM
The Chinese government has made cricket a priority team sport because they feel they can't be competitive in rugby, field hockey, ice hockey and a swath of other team sports. I believe their targets are cricket, basketball, baseball, handball and football.
Actually rugby has been a major official sport for the PLA in recent time whilst in hockey they are already very competitive in the women's game (sixth ranked as of 2010 and won silver in Beijing). I've not heard any references to their interest in baseball (although Taiwan is of course very strong and possibly only second to Japan when it comes to Asian teams) nor handball. Football is without doubt a major priority for growth however the local league and administration is arguably one of the worst in terms of inefficiencies and corruption on the global football scene.
It would be very interesting if China were to expand it's interest and capabilities in cricket however I just can't see it happening even in the next 20-30 years. As long as the BCCI is the by-proxy owner of international cricket they will do their best to make sure no one usurps the potential wealth to be squeezed out of the game from the current biggest market (i.e. India). Sad to say unlike those horrid imperialists in the MCC or their associated descendant administrators at the ECB and Cricket Australia the BCCI is looking to turn cricket into a game that only benefits their wallets and their jingoistic prestige, and expansion of the game beyond the traditional areas such as Commonwealth countries is not part of their agenda. They are more concerned with keeping the corrupt and loyal friendship of the likes of Zimbabwean cricket onside to feather their own nest.
Posted 11 November 2010 - 05:37 PM
Cricket faces 2014 Asian Games axe
Cricket faces the axe from the 2014 Asian Games after organisers of the showpiece in Incheon, South Korea, on Thursday omitted the sport from their list of proposed events.
The Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) decided last year that the number of sports in future Asian Games should not exceed 35, with 28 from the Olympic Games and a maximum of seven to reflect the sporting culture of Asia's five zones.
Incheon organisers are hoping to include baseball, bowling, kabaddi, sepak takraw, softball, squash and wushu alongside the 28 sports on the list for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, the OCA said in a statement.
The 16th Asian Games, which get underway here on Friday, features 42 sports and 476 events with cricket being played for the first time.
Cricket was last seen at a major multi-sport event at the 1998 Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur, but was dropped for the next three editions in England, Australia and India.
Posted 27 November 2010 - 08:03 AM
I fail to see why niche games should stay in the games when there are better contenders to be selected amongst the 7 non-Olympic sports.
Edit: I mean OCA.
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