Cash crunch forces cricket out of Asiad

Indian sub-continent’s most followed sport cricket is being eliminated from the Asian Games 2018. Olympic Council of Asia has decided to oust as many as 63 sporting disciplines from the 2018 Games, to be hosted by at Jakarta an Palembang. Cricket, skateboarding, sambo and surfing are among sports removed from the programme in order to reduce the burden on Indonesian organisers.

To participate in the continental multi-discipline games has never been the priority for the administrators of the cash-rich sport, which was first introduced in the Asian Games at at Guangzhou 2010 before also featuring in Incheon. Board of Control for Cricket in India had not sent a team to both the editions of the Games.

There will also be reduced competitions in some other sports disciplines. This followed a meeting between OCA President Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah and Indonesian vice-president and Jakarta-Palembang Steering Committee (INASGOC) President Muhammad Jusuf Kalla in the Indonesian capital.

“We hope these changes will make the Games more cost effective,” OCA director general Husain Al-Musallam told insidethegames today. “We wanted to focus on sports which are popular in Indonesia.”

No changes, however, have yet been made to any of the other 28 permanent Summer Olympic sports due to be contested.

A record number of 42 sports appeared at the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou. The programme was reduced to 36 sports at Incheon 2014 following a decision at the 2009 OCA General Assembly in Singapore. This consisted of 437 events – six more than the latest total for 2018.