Japan on track to compete at Asian Games
Japan's preparations for the 2010 Asian Games cricket competition continue to move forward even though it is still unclear which countries will be taking part other than the hosts.
The 16th Asian Games is to be held in Guangzhou, China in November but information regarding the cricket competition has been difficult to come by.
It is believed that only 10 countries will be invited to take part in the event which is to be played in two sections. The first stage will feature the six invited associate and affiliate countries who will play in a round-robin style competition to determine first and second placings. Those two countries will then go on to play against the four full members in the main draw.
Some fans from the East Asia-Pacific region are concerned that the competition may become an all Asian Cricket Council affair with Japan on the outer.
Japan has been one of the most enthusiastic supporters of the Asian Games cricket competition from the beginning and their ability to field a passport only team has never been in doubt.
The selection policy of the Japanese national team has always been to provide opportunities to home grown locals and this will hold them in good stead for the competition ahead as their passport holders already have a vast amount of international experience.
Furthermore, women's cricket is well established in Japan and the association will have no problem in fielding male and female sides.
Negotiations are in the advanced stages for the cricket association to be accepted as a member of the Japan Olympic Committee which is an important breakthrough.
So what happens if more than six associate and affiliate countries wish to field teams? Perhaps a qualifying tournament will need to be staged in advance of the games proper.