Cricket has been cut from the list of sports at the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia, according to reports.
With organisers keen on saving costs, the number of events for the Games in Jakarta and Palembang is being reduced from the 439 to 431, Inside the Games reported on Wednesday (April 19).
With no consensus among cricket bodies around the world on including the sport in the Olympics, the move by the Olympic Council of Asia will come as another blow to efforts to feature cricket in multi-sport events.
Cricket became a medal sport at the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou with events for men and women. India didn’t send a team to either the 2010 or 2014 events, but the likes of Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka have been regulars. Pakistan men’s side participated in the inaugural edition, while the women have won gold both times.
The introduction of cricket in the Games saw the likes of China, Hong Kong, South Korea and Thailand embrace the sport. Its absence now will hurt their ambitions – for China especially – and will leave a considerable hole in their calendars.
Skateboarding and surfing are other sports affected, while there will be fewer events in ju jitsu, jet ski and paragliding at the Asiad.