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Won’t send squads for China Asiad: BCCI
Tribune News Service & PTI

Mumbai, June 1
The BCCI today announced that it will not send either the men's or the women's cricket team for this year's Asian Games in China where the game makes its debut in its Twenty20 format.

The 16th edition of the Games will be held in Guangzhou, China, from November 12 to 27 and the BCCI's decision means loss of potential medals for the country.

“We would not be able to send our team, both men and women, for the Asian Games in China because of international commitments,” BCCI chief administrative officer Ratnakar Shetty told reporters here. "We have communicated the same to the Indian Olympic Association.”

Cricket's debut at the Games was approved at the Olympic Council of Asia’s General Assembly in Kuwait recently and yesterday was the last day to confirm participation. Indian men's team will have a busy time in November as they host New Zealand for three Tests and five ODIs.

This year's Asian Games will feature 42 disciplines, 14 more than what takes place in the Olympics. The countries that are expected to send cricket teams for the Games include Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

Meanwhile, the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) and the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) have expressed disappointment over the BCCI decision.

Randhir Singh, the OCA and IOA secretary general, said: “We were sure to win a medal in cricket… It was with much effort that Asian Cricket Council got affiliation with the OCA. And now one of the member nations of the ACC is pulling out without assigning any reason. Had the Indian cricketers gone for the games, it would have been easier for us to introduce the sport at the Olympic level.” IOA joint secretary Arun Vij was scathing in his attack on the BCCI: “It’s all about money. The BCCI knows it will not be getting much at the Asian Games. Moreover, its players will also be treated at par with other Indian sportsmen. That is not to the liking of the BCCI.” The last time cricket featured in a multi-sports event was during the 1998 Kuala Lumpur Commonwealth Games. The tournament was won by South Africa, who beat Australia in the finals. New Zealand bagged the bronze.

(With inputs from Ravi Dhaliwal in Gurdaspur)





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