Sunday, November 14, 2010

Cricket may win reprieve for 2014 Asian Games

Cricket's Asian Games' future is on a knife-edge after the organisers of the 2014 edition in South Korea failed to push through their bid to cut the sport from their programme.
Cricket, making its debut in Guangzhou, was targetted for the chop by the city of Incheon, but the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) wants it retained because of its TV appeal.
The issue will now be decided at an OCA executive board meeting in Muscat in December.
Asian Games cricket was played for the first time in China on Saturday with the hosts comfortably defeating Malaysia in the women's tournament, although only a small crowd gathered to witness the historic moment.
Cricket was omitted from Incheon's list of events proposed for the 2014 Games when it was released on Thursday.
But Asian Cricket Council (ACC) spokesman Shahriar Khan told AFP it was "rude and presumptious to suggest that cricket will not be part of the Asian Games anymore".
"We have heard nothing definite against cricket being part of the Games, but we do understand Korean concerns at the costing, facilities and support staff for a sport they know little about," he said on Friday.
"The ACC helped China financially and otherwise to get cricket off the ground in this country and we are ready to do the same in South Korea as well."
The OCA decided last year that the number of sports in future Games should not exceed 35, with 28 from the Olympic Games and a maximum of seven to reflect the sporting culture of Asia?s five zones.
Incheon are hoping to include baseball, bowling, kabaddi, sepaktakraw, softball, squash and wushu alongside the 28 sports on the list for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

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