India to skip Asian Games again
NEW DELHI: Indian cricket chiefs have once again decided to stay away from multinational games by refusing to field the women’s and the men’s cricket teams in the forthcoming Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea from September 19 to October 4.
According to the list of participating teams for the men’s and women’s cricket events, India is the only Test nation from Asia to not participate. While Pakistan have entered only in the women’s event, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh will be playing in both categories. Even after the list of participating teams was made public on the Asian Cricket Council’s website, BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel said the board, “was considering whether to be a part of Asian Games”.
The BCCI’s decision not to enter a men’s team might be explained by the fact that the Asian Games clash with the Champions League Twenty20, to be played in India from September 13 to October 4. With four IPL teams participating in the tournament, the cream of Indian cricket will be playing for their franchises.
India Women, however, have no fixtures at the same time as the Asian Games but Cricinfo understands the issue of sending the team was not discussed in recent BCCI meetings. Some board sources confirmed the Asian Games was never discussed in any of the working committee meetings over the last year. Ahead of the previous Asian Games in Guangzhou, the BCCI had announced its decision to skip the event well in advance.
“The men could be busy with other commitments, but it is perplexing to see the women’s team not playing,” former India Women’s captain Diana Eduljee said. “A medal at the Asian Games would have not only brought financial rewards and perks from the government to women cricketers but also given them glory and respect. It is another indication the BCCI isn’t really interested in running and spreading women’s cricket.”
Over the last decade, India Women have slipped in performance and finished seventh in the 2013 World Cup despite playing at home. Former captain Anjum Chopra said the dip in standards was because of the reduced number of international games. In 2010, Bangladesh won gold in the men’s event after India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka had all skipped the games, while Pakistan won the women’s event. The PCB has sent their women’s team this time as well.
Because cricket is a not an Olympic sport and the PCB is not affiliated to the Pakistan Sports Board, the PCB has to bear the cost of participation in the Asian Games.