x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 20 July 2017

Indian cricket body ditches Asian Games

India will not send cricket teams to the Asian Games in November, despite being a key driver in getting the sport included on the program in China.

India will not send cricket teams to the Asian Games in November, despite being a key driver in getting the sport included on the program in China. Ratnakar Shetty, a top official with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), cited prior international commitments for India skipping the men's and women's cricket events at the Games in Guangzhou, China, from November 12-27. Shetty said on Tuesday that the BCCI already had informed organisers in China. Asia's other Test-ranked nations - Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh - are likely to send cricket teams to the Games. A dozen other teams entered qualifying for three spots in the tournament. The Asian Games has always been asking for cricket to be included but on the condition that full-strength sides will be playing. After much persuasion India had shown the way by agreeing as long as the format was Twenty20. India will be hosting New Zealand for three Tests and five one-day internationals in November. The Olympic Council of Asia announced after its General Assembly meeting last May that cricket would be among five sports making a debut on the program for the 16th edition of the Games. At the time, OCA president Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah described India and Pakistan as "the drivers" for getting cricket included on the program for the first time and vowed that their best teams would enter.

India cricket will comply with the World Anti-Doping Agency's whereabouts rule for players, the BCCI said, but it was not certain if they have agreed to the controversial "whereabouts" clause that has been the bone of contention. "We will have talks with the WADA officials" on the issue, Shetty said. Indian cricketers last year refused to meet a WADA deadline to comply to the rule, saying it intruded on their privacy and was a potential security risk. In October, the International Cricket Council suspended the clause until the Indian players' concerns were sorted out. The controversial rule requires elite athletes to make themselves available for out-of-competition testing for one hour a day for all 365 days in a year. BCCI president Shashank Manohar said last year that India was committed to ensuring cricket was a drug-free sport and would sort out the issue amicably with the ICC.