Efforts on to save cricket at Incheon

The Indian Cricket Board’s refusal to send teams for the 16th Asian Games, where the sport would make its debut in the Twenty20 format, has now created doubts over whether it would be a part of the 2014 roster. The doubts over cricket’s axing have grown after 2014 hosts Incheon kept cricket out of the list of events they proposed on Thursday. Sources said the Asian Cricket Council is making last-ditch efforts to retain the sport on the Asian Games schedule.

The BCCI had cited prior international commitments as the reason for not sending the team here for the Games. The Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) had last year stated that a maximum of 35 sports — 28 Olympic and seven others — would be part of the Asian Games roster.

Incheon wants to include baseball, bowling, kabaddi, sepaktakraw, softball, squash and wushu apart from the 28 from the 2016 Olympics roster. Cricket’s last appearance at a multi-sport event was at the 1998 Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur.

Meanwhile, former Sri Lanka captain Bandula Warnapura, now a technical director with the Asian Cricket Council (ACC), feels it is important for the game to do well at the 2010 Asian Games so that it can get an entry into the Olympics soon. “If cricket does well at the Asian Games, it could be an Olympic event soon, so this debut is extremely important,” Warnapura was quoted as saying in China Daily.

However, apart from the ACC, which is in charge of conducting cricket during the 2010 Asian Games, the local authorities here hardly have a clue on how to organise the game.

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