India’s men’s and women’s cricket teams are set to compete in the Asian Games for the first time, with the BCCI’s apex council approving their participation in the upcoming Games in Hangzhou in September-October. Cricket has featured twice in the Asian Games before – in 2010 and 2014 – but India didn’t take part either time.
As in the 2010 and 2014 editions, T20 will be the format of the cricket event in Hangzhou.
“We are going to participate in the Asian Games,” BCCI secretary Jay Shah confirmed on Friday. “The Apex Council has approved the participation of our men’s and women’s teams.”
With the Men’s ODI World Cup, which is scheduled to begin on October 5, two days before the end of the Asian Games cricket competition, the BCCI is expected to send a second-string men’s team to the Games, and a full-strength women’s team.
Bangladesh (2010) and Sri Lanka (2014) won the men’s gold medals in the previous editions of the Games, while Pakistan won the women’s gold both times.
BCCI mulls policy to prevent early retirements
Among the other matters discussed by the apex committee was the issue of players retiring from international and domestic cricket in order to participate in overseas leagues. The most recent case of this is Ambati Rayudu, who^( , following which he ^( for the upcoming inaugural edition of Major League Cricket.
As things stand, Indian cricketers can only feature in overseas leagues if they are no longer involved in international cricket or in BCCI-run tournaments including the IPL. While only a handful of Indian players have so far gone on to play in overseas leagues after their retirements, the mushrooming of leagues around the world has raised the concern that players could retire early to play in these new tournaments.
“We’ll come out with a policy to prevent the trend of pre-determined retirement,” Shah said. “The office-bearers will make a policy and send it back for approval.”