The Indian Men’s and Women’s cricket teams are set to skip participation in the upcoming Asian Games in Hangzhou even as the nation hopes to get their best-ever tally in the marquee event. India will be represented in all disciplines barring one, and that’s cricket, where the nation would have had a realistic chance of winning gold in both men’s and women’s events. However, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) have cited prior commitments as the reason for not sending teams to the Asia Games which were originally scheduled to be held last year but had to be postponed due to the zero Covid-19 policy of China.
The Hangzhou Asian Games will be held from September 23 to October 28, and due to the prior commitments of both the Indian men’s and women’s cricket teams, neither of the Indian contingents will take part in the continental spectacle.
India’s chef de mission for the Asian Games, Bhupender Bajwa confirmed to Indian Express that the BCCI revealed they had other commitments.
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“We have entries in all sports except one – cricket (team) isn’t going. They said they are preoccupied. We sent 3-4 emails to them but when we had to send entries to the organisers, they said they won’t go,” Bajwa was quoted as saying.
Furthermore, the same report added that a BCCI official revealed that they were informed just 1 day before the deadline regarding sending the entries and the FTP for the Indian teams has already been finalized.
“We had received the mail from IOA just one day before the deadline. At the same time, the BCCI already has finalised the FTP for women’s cricket. During the Asian Games, our team won’t be available as they will be playing in a tournament,” the official was quoted as saying.
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While the Indian women’s team will be playing against South Africa and New Zealand during September-October, the men’s team will be preparing for the ODI World Cup at home with the cricket spectacle set to be hosted in the nation during October and November.
While many times in the past the BCCI has fielded two teams which competed simultaneously, as seen recently when Shikhar Dhawan-led second-string side faced off against Sri Lanka in 2021 whereas the senior team led by Virat Kohli were engaged in a Test series against England in the UK. A similar scenario unfolded last year as well when the Hardik Pandya-led Indian team played against Ireland while the senior team was in England.
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BCCI’s decision to skip the Asian Games comes at a time when the sport is being pushed for inclusion in the Olympics. A few days after the conclusion of the Asian Games, a meeting will take place in Mumbai, where the International Olympic Committee will ponder upon cricket’s inclusion in the quadrennial event.
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News Source: https://www.news18.com/cricketnext/amp/indian-teams-set-to-skip-asian-games-in-hangzhou-amid-calls-for-sport-to-be-included-in-olympics-7600117.html