Cricket to make debut at 2006 Asiad

Agence France Presse

New Delhi, July 8:

Cricket will be played for the first time at the Asian Games during the 2006 meet in Doha, in keeping with the sport’s growing popularity in the continent, a top sports official said. Limited-overs cricket will be one of the 40 disciplines to be contested at the December 1-15 Games, Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) secretary general Randhir Singh told reporters here. “Many countries, especially the West Asian ones, were keen that cricket be played at the Asian Games and the OCA accepted the proposal at its meeting held in Doha on July 1,” Singh said. “We have spoken about it to the Asian Cricket Council and the details will be worked out soon.” There are four Test-playing nations in Asia — India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh — and cricket is played in almost all Asian countries, including China who were recently admitted to the ICC. Cricket, a non-Olympic sp-ort, was introduced at the Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lum-pur in 1998, but was discarded at the 2002 edition in Manchester due to the lukewarm response from the major cricketing nations.