OCA keen to have cricket in 2026 Asian Games but lack of facility in Japan a big issue

Updated - 28 Feb 2024, 05:22 PM

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The Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) is eager to have cricket at the 2026 Asian Games in Japan, according to Reuters. Cricket made its debut in the continental games in 2010 and was included in the 2014 edition of the games too before being dropped for the 2018 edition.

In the 2022 Asian Games, which was held in 2023 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, cricket returned to the Asian Games once again. It was a historic event for the Indian teams as both the men’s and women’s cricket teams participated in the Asian Games for the first time. Both teams went on to clinch gold medals in the men’s and women’s competitions.

The OCA is now keen to ensure that the game remains a part of the next Asian Games as well. The organization is reportedly exploring the idea of converting a baseball stadium in Nagoya for this purpose. The report stated that the cricket administrators perceive multi-sport events like the Games as an opportunity to enhance the game’s popularity.

“We are still working on the sports programme for the 2026 Games but yes, we would want cricket to be part of it,” OCA acting president Randhir Singh told Reuters.

Cricket to continue in Asian Games:

While the OCA is keen to have cricket in the 2026 Asian Games, the lack of cricket facilities in Japan is a big issue for the organizers. The Japan Cricket Association (JCA) has offered an international stadium in
Tochigi prefecture, north of Tokyo to solve the issue. However, the OCA wants the games to take place at a facility in or around Nagoya, the capital of Aichi prefecture where the Games will be held.

“The Tochigi stadium is would be a three-and-half hour drive from Nagoya, said OCA Deputy Director General Vinod Kumar Tiwari. “We are working with the Asian Cricket Council on this.”



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