The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has announced that India will not send its men’s and women’s cricket teams to the upcoming Asian Games in Hangzhou, China, in September 2023. This decision has caused concern among other cricket associations who believe cricket should be a global sport. While the International Cricket Council (ICC) is pushing to include cricket in the Olympics, the BCCI has refused to take part in International events, raising many questions.
Originally scheduled for September 2022, the Asian Games were postponed to September 2023 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The BCCI stated that it has prior commitments to fulfill and also has the Asia Cup to deal with before hosting the ODI World Cup. The ODI World Cup is set to start on October 5, 2023, which does not leave enough time for players to recover and play in the main tournament. Due to this tight schedule, BCCI is unlikely to send its team to the Asian Games.India’s chef de mission for the Asian Games, Bhupender Bajwa, revealed that BCCI had declined the invitation to participate. “We have entries in all sports except one – cricket (team) isn’t going. They said they are preoccupied. We sent 3-4 emails to them, but when we had to send entries to the organizers, they said they won’t go.”
A BCCI official confirmed that the decision was made because they received the email from the Indian Olympic Association just one day before the deadline, and the women’s cricket team already had finalized the FTP( Future Tour Programs). The official also stated that during the Asian Games, the team would not be available, as they would be playing in a tournament.
While the BCCI’s decision not to participate in the Asian Games has disappointed many cricket enthusiasts, the board has its reasons for prioritizing the ODI World Cup and fulfilling its existing commitments. It remains to be seen whether the BCCI will reconsider its decision and participate in future International events to promote cricket as a global sport.