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Asian Games cricket hit by India withdrawal

Cricket’s debut at the Asian Games this year suffered a body blow on Tuesday as India pulled out, while top stars from Pakistan and Sri Lanka were also set to miss the competition. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) said it would not field the men’s and women’s teams at the November 12-27 Games in the Chinese city of Guangzhou because of prior commitments.

“We would not be able to send our team, both men and women, for the Asian Games in China because of international commitments,” BCCI chief administrative officer Ratnakar Shetty told reporters in Mumbai.

“We have communicated the same to the Indian Olympic Association.” India has huge cricket-mad television audiences, making the team an attractive proposition for any organiser. But the national side is due to host New Zealand in November. There were also grave doubts if two other Asian Test nations — Pakistan and Sri Lanka — would field their top cricketers.

Pakistan on Monday announced a Test and one-day series against South Africa from October 25 to November 25, while Sri Lanka are scheduled to host the West Indies in the same period.

Bangladesh, the other Test nation from the continent, has a home one-day series against Zimbabwe in November.

NEW DELHI, AFP

 

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