India news August 1, 2014

India to skip Asian Games again


Anjum Chopra: Women's team missing exposure

The BCCI has continued to stay away from multinational games by refusing to field the women's and the men's cricket teams in the forthcoming Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea from September 19 to October 4.

According to the list of participating teams for the men's and women's cricket events, India is the only Test nation from Asia to not participate. While Pakistan have entered only in the women's event, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh will be playing in both categories. Even after the list of participating teams was made public on the Asian Cricket Council's website, BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel said the board, "was considering whether to be a part of Asian Games".

The BCCI's decision not to enter a men's team might be explained by the fact that the Asian Games clash with the Champions League Twenty20, to be played in India from September 13 to October 4. With four IPL teams participating in the tournament, the cream of Indian cricket will be playing for their franchises.

India Women, however, have no fixtures at the same time as the Asian Games but ESPNcricinfo understands the issue of sending the team was not discussed in recent BCCI meetings. Some board sources confirmed the Asian Games was never discussed in any of the working committee meetings over the last year. Ahead of the previous Asian Games in Guangzhou, the BCCI had announced its decision to skip the event well in advance.

"The men could be busy with other commitments, but it is perplexing to see the women's team not playing," former India Women's captain Diana Eduljee said. "A medal at the Asian Games would have not only brought financial rewards and perks from the government to women cricketers but also given them glory and respect. It is another indication the BCCI isn't really interested in running and spreading women's cricket."

Over the last decade, India Women have slipped in performance and finished seventh in the 2013 World Cup despite playing at home. Former captain Anjum Chopra said the dip in standards was because of the reduced number of international games.

"It's not just the Asian Games, but any international assignment is important for the women's team at the moment," Chopra said. "Over the last few years, India have been playing the least number of matches among the top six nations. Even Sri Lanka and South Africa have started playing much more than they used to, which has resulted in improvement in their rankings and the results are showing. So the Indian women's team must be given as much exposure as possible."

In 2010, Bangladesh won gold in the men's event after India had skipped the games, while Pakistan won the women's event. The PCB has sent their women's team this time as well.

Because cricket is a not an Olympic sport and the PCB is not affiliated to the Pakistan Sports Board, the PCB has to bear the cost of participation in the Asian Games. So, rather than fielding the men's team, the PCB believed it was more worthwhile to spend on the women's team, which is a developing unit. The fact that they are defending champions was another factor behind the PCB backing its women cricketers.

Sri Lanka, on the other hand, decided to play in the men's category for the first time. SLC secretary Nishantha Ranatunga said they would be sending a full-strength side for the event.

"It is important to utilise as many opportunities available for our national team and we are doing just that," Ranatunga said. "Even though some of our players will be competing in the Champions League, we will select the best squad from the pool of available players."

For Bangladesh, defending the gold medal they won in Guangzou is on top of the priority list for the BCB. "It was Bangladesh's first ever gold medal at Asian Games, so it is not just important for cricket but for all sports in the country," BCB director Jalal Yunus said. "The Asian Games is taken seriously by the BCB. It gives us an opportunity to play a T20 tournament, as we don't get to play too many tournaments in this format. We feel there is a need to play more tournaments."

Despite a tour to West Indies just before the games, the BCB is likely to send a full-strength squad.

Amol Karhadkar is a correspondent at ESPNcricinfo. With inputs from Umar Farooq and Mohammad Isam

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Shirley on August 6, 2014, 23:27 GMT

    I can't believe this! A chance for emerging cricketers to play is being ignored?? How will the game survive if women & younger male players are denied the chance to compete?? Poor form yet again from a cricketing board....

  • Harsh on August 3, 2014, 5:12 GMT

    Even four teams are busy, they can still send following team:

    from M Vijay, Rahane, Shikhar, V Kohli,Manoj Tiwary, Yuvi, Naman, D Karthik, Binny, Ishant, Shami, V Aaron, Bhuvi, A Mishra, Irfan

    none of these player is playing CL and many players have good international experience, can be capable of winning Gold Medal

  • Android on August 2, 2014, 15:53 GMT

    definitely the time for N srinivasan ,sanjay patel anf other non cricketers should step down voluntarily. they have nothing done for the younger player in distric level. still they r earning for the sports body and enjoying the honorary post. in district level still the boys playing on matting wickets all over india. but they got the name of richest sports body in world cricket. it is shameful for every individual cricket lovers. their old technic is still favouring culprits of distric association's president. that old technic is one man committe. this can happens only in india. In future BCCI must have any genuine sports person in top administration level, otherwise. indian cricket must derail in future.

  • saurabh on August 2, 2014, 6:43 GMT

    I dont wanna see these people like sanjay patel N Srinivasan and other people who dont care about the team performance rather making lots of money so i hope these people will be left out. I really wanna see men and women team to represent the team in the asian games and if cricket is included in olympics also.

  • ESPN on August 2, 2014, 3:19 GMT

    SL will get the gold medal for both men's and women's

  • Peter on August 1, 2014, 20:35 GMT

    That's how you encouragement youngsters coming through the system, NOT!! Why not send a development team or an U21 team? You are supposed to showcase the game as much as you can, aren't you? Poor form, certainly not looking after the game at grass roots level.

  • Chirag on August 1, 2014, 17:57 GMT

    @mtvnjoy -- The CL broadcasters would not want the cricket watching public to divide their attention between CL and the Asian Games

  • Depp on August 1, 2014, 16:40 GMT

    BCCI thinking is very poor! They should have definitely send the women's team as it would have given the team a decent exposure at international level as well as allow cricket to develop in non-traditional countries like South Korea in this case and Chaina 4 years back. The only reason BCCI didn't send the team is that BCCI being a non-government entity, would have to fund the team's expenses rather than the Indian government. This proves BCCI is truly selfish and don't have to do anything with the development of game! Its counterparts at least have a better vision!

  • Nilesh on August 1, 2014, 16:25 GMT

    I think it is a poor decision to not send a women's team considering that there don't appear to be any scheduling conflicts. Getting more exposure and experience playing other countries would have been good for the women's team. In fact they could have won a medal considering that they are a good cricket team (at the Asia level).

  • Tushar on August 1, 2014, 16:17 GMT

    Why can't BCCI just send a second or third India XI? Like India A, say. Anyone has an answer?

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