India blasted over Games no-show

Olympic Council of Asia head criticises India's absence from the Asian Games' Twenty20 cricket event.

    India had cited its players' involvement elsewhere for the no-show [AFP]
    India had cited its players' involvement elsewhere for the no-show [AFP]

    The head of the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) has launched a scathing attack on India over its refusal to enter a cricket team at the Asian Games, saying its decision was "killing" the sport.

    Twenty20 Cricket was added to the Asian Games programme four years ago as a way to try and promote the sport in the region.

    But India, the world's richest and most influential cricketing nation, has steadfastly refused to send a men's or women's team to either the 2010 or the 2014 Asian Games.

    The Indian cricket board (BCCI) said its players were too busy with their other commitments. The Asian Games, which ended in South Korea on Saturday, clashed with the lucrative Champions League Twenty20 taking place in India.

    But the OCA president, Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah, said India's stance was short-sighted and damaging the game.

    "They are killing cricket, limiting the NOCs (National Olympic Committees) participating in cricket and killing the market," Sheikh Ahmad told a news conference at the Asian Games on Saturday.

    "Sorry to say this as a sports fan, but this is the reality. This is why cricket is only a Commonwealth sport."

    India has also opposed the inclusion of cricket at other multi-sports events, including the Commonwealth Games and Olympic Games, a stance that has put them at odds with other cricketing nations and players.

    Sri Lanka, the current Twenty20 world champions, sent a team to the Asian Games and won the men's gold medal, beating Afghanistan in the final.

    SOURCE: Reuters


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