Bangladesh pushes for cricket in South Asian Games

Bangladesh intends including cricket as a new event when it hosts the 11th South Asian Games in 2008. Eight nations - Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka - are expected to participate in the biennial meeting.

"We have four test playing nations among us. So we could easily include the cricket in the SA Games," Ishtiaq Ahmed, a senior official of the Bangladesh Olympic Association, told Reuters. "We understand it will be difficult for the test playing nations to send a full-strength side in the SA Games. In that case we would happily accept age-level teams," he said.

The events will be finalised at a meeting of representatives from participating nations in Dhaka next February. "As the host, we primarily underlined 15 disciplines including cricket for the meet," Ishtiaq explained.

Cricket was last included at a major international tournament in the 1998 Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpar. It also featured in the Olympics once, when a side from Britain beat France in Paris in 1900.