Cricket included in Asian Games

May 13th, 2009 - 10:34 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, May 13 (IANS) Cricket will make its debut in Asian Games after the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) Wednesday decided to include the sport in the multi-disciplinary mega event.
The OCA general assembly in Kuwait approved a proposal to include cricket as a discipline for men and women this week. The decision will come in effect during the 2010 Asian Games at Guangzhou, China.

The popular Twenty20 format has been selected for the Games, scheduled Nov 12-27.

Asia’s four Test playing nations India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh have automatically qualified, along with the host nation.

All other countries will have to play a qualifying round for three additional spots through a series of qualifiers.

“India and Pakistan were the drivers,” the OCA president, Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah, said.

“Pakistan and India will come with their best teams because it will be a big competition. Asia’s four Test-playing nations have committed to send their best available teams.”

OCA general secretary Randhir Singh, who is also the secretary of Indian Olympic Association (IOA), said China although not a cricketing country was keen to have cricket in Guangzhou.

“As far as we are concerned we are ready,” Randhir said.

Cricket appeared once at 1900 Paris Olympics, where Great Britain beat France in a two day match. The last time cricket was played in a multi-sport event was in 1998 Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur.

The 16th edition of the Commonwealth Games will have three more disciplines than the previous edition, taking the total number to 42.

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