Series against NZ more important, BCCI ignores Asian Games

MUMBAI: Putting commercial interests above national pride, the BCCI on Tuesday decided to skip the inaugural cricket tournament in the Asian Games in China citing international commitments.

The 16th edition of the Games will be held in Guangzhou, China from November 12 to 27 and BCCI’s backing out amounts to missing a couple of potential medals.

“We would not be able to send our team, both men and women, for the Asian Games in China because of international commitments,” BCCI chief administrative officer Ratnakar Shetty said.

“We have communicated the same to the Indian Olympic Association,” he said at a media conference to announce the launch of online ticket sales for the 2011 World Cup.

Cricket’s debut at the Asian Games was approved at the Olympic Council of Asia’s General Assembly in Kuwait recently and Monday (May 31) was the last day to confirm participation.

Indian men’s team will have a busy time in November as they host New Zealand for three Tests and five ODIs.

The BCCI’s reluctance to send cricket teams to multi-discipline events was evident in the 1998 Commonwealth Games where they sent a second-string squad to Kuala Lumpur, while the majority of the frontline cricketers played Pakistan in Toronto, Canada in a best-of-five ODI rubber.

This year’s Asian Games will feature 42 disciplines, 14 more than in the Olympics.

Countries which are expected to send cricket teams for the Games include Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

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