At the 2014 edition in Incheon, when Cricket was last played at the Asian Games, Sri Lanka won the men’s gold while Pakistan bagged the women’s gold. India did not send either the men or the women’s team for the event.
“Yes, the OCA general assembly have approved cricket as one of the disciplines for the Hangzhou Games in 2022. We now hope that India along with other top countries like Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Afghanistan will actively decide to take part in both the men’s and women’s event,” OCA honorary vice-president Randhir Singh told CricketNext from Bangkok on Monday.
The BCCI, though, has responded cautiously to the development.
“The 2022 Games are still more than three years away. Hopefully, by then we’ll have an elected Apex Council in place and then we can take a call on whether we can take part in the event,” a senior BCCI official told CricketNext.
In 2014, the BCCI did not send a team because the dates for the Asian Games were clashing with the now-defunct Champions League T20 tournament. Surprisingly, the Indian women’s team were also not sent for the event, although they were not playing a series at the time.
The Asian Cricket Council (ACC), the world body that will be responsible for working with the OCA to organize cricket at the 2022 Games, will be in a quandary. According to ICC’s Future Tours Program released till 2023, the 2022 Asia Cup in to be held tentatively between September 19 to 30, 2022 while the Asian Games will run between September 10 to 25, 2022.
“It’s too early to say how we can work out things for the Asian Games. For course, it is a big event but the ICC FTP is also packed, so it will be difficult to accommodate the Asia Cup at any other time. We’ll discuss the matter in the next ACC meeting,” a senior ACC official said.
The BCCI is currently run by the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) and one of its members, former India women captain Diana Edulji, was among those to have spoken in favour of sending the women’s team to the 2014 Asian Games.
“The men could be busy with other commitments, but it is perplexing to see the women’s team not playing. 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,” Edulji had said back in 2014.
Another matter of concern for the BCCI is that they might be termed World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) non-compliant if they continue to resist on sending their samples to National Anti-Doping Agency (NADA) in India. The BCCI acting secretary Amitabh Chaudhary said in Mumbai resolving the conflict between BCCI and the WADA was an urgent matter.
“That is an issue. The world body (WADA) has been in dialogue with ICC for some time and the issue is that all participating nations in the ICC must align with the national testing authority,” Chaudhary said. “The only member of the ICC which has so far resisted it, and for reasons well known, is the BCCI and therefore there is a slight urgency on that matter. The ICC has been informed and the ICC chairman is of the view that he will soon have a dialogue with the BCCI itself considering the urgency of the matter least the ICC be declared non-compliant.”
Asked if the WADA non-compliance could be an issue in India’s participation in Asian Games, the OCA vice-president Singh said, “I am sure the BCCI will resolve the situation sooner rather than later. However, if it is still pending, we’ll try to resolve it with the help of OCA, IOA and BCCI.”
First Published: March 4, 2019, 4:57 PM IST