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India unlikely to send teams to Hangzhou Asian Games


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BCCI secretary says a final decision will be taken later based on both the men’s and women’s teams existing commitments

Cricket will make a comeback at the Asian Games in Hangzhou later this year but India, the game’s financial engine, is unlikely to field teams owing to existing commitments.

Few expected India’s men’s team to compete in the September Games risking injury to the players ahead of the T20 World Cup in Australia from October 16.

Participation of the women’s team, who will compete in the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham in July-August, now also looks unlikely.

“As far as the Asian Games in Hangzhou is concerned, a final decision on whether to send both men’s and women’s teams will be taken later and based on our existing commitments,” BCCI secretary Jay Shah told Reuters.

The Games coincides with the women team’s limited-overs tour of England where they are scheduled to play three ODIs and an equal number of T20Is. Hosting India is a lucrative proposition for any board and Shah said honouring bilateral commitments was particularly important in a post-Covid world.

“The BCCI has always stood by member boards and helped them in these difficult times,” Shah said. “The board firmly believes in honouring its bilateral commitments. We are committed to our fans here in India and it is absolutely important that we safeguard our home season. The FTP [Future Tours Programme] that has been created it needs to be adhered to.”

The reluctance of the BCCI, the world’s richest cricket board, was seen as a major impediment to the game’s Olympic inclusion. But a change in BCCI’s stance has emboldened the ICC’s push for cricket’s inclusion in the 2028 Olympic Games in Los Angeles.

“The BCCI and ICC are on the same page on this and agree that the inclusion of cricket in the Olympics is good for the growth of the game,” added Shah.



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