Cricket to be in 2010 Asian Games
The 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou, China will feature cricket for the first time. The proposal to include cricket was approved at the Olympic Council of Asia's General Assembly in Kuwait recently.
The four Asian Test nations have committed to sending their best available teams, though as all but Bangladesh have home series scheduled at the time the event takes place, the strength of those teams may not be full strength.
The first Asian Games were held in Delhi in 1951, and Guangzhou will be the sixteenth games. Forty two sports will be played, 14 more than take place in the Olympics. The games will take place between the 12th and 27th of November.
Cricket has featured in multi-sports events before. The South Pacific games has had cricket as a discipline for a number of years, and will do so again this year, but this is the highest profile such event since the 1998 Commonwealth Games.
That tournament, in Kuala Lumpur was a disappointment, with England not sending a team, the West Indies being broken up into individual islands and most other Test nations sending weakened sides. The gold medal then was won by South Africa, with Australia taking the silver and Sri Lanka the bronze. It provided an upset moment as well, when a Northern Ireland side featuring recent World Cup squad members Kyle McCallan and Peter Gillespie beat Bangladesh in the group stage.
It had been hoped that the Glasgow bid for the 2014 Commonwealth Games would include cricket as one of the sports, but the bid they issued recently saw cricket conspicuous by its absence.
Cricket has also featured in the Olympics, way back in 1900. Only one game was played, between a club side called Devon and Somerset Wanderers representing Great Britain, and a French Athletic Club Union team mainly made up of British Embassy staff in Paris representing France. Britain won the match by 158 runs, though neither of the sides seemed to be aware they were playing in the Olympics. Matches involving Belgium and the Netherlands were not played.