OCA drops cricket from Doha Asian Games schedule

Published: Saturday, February 12, 2005, 23:53 [IST]
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New Delhi:The decision was taken at OCA's executive committee meeting at Kuwait on February 5, OCA secretary general Randhir Singh told reporters.

He said the ACC was not committing itself to send its top teams for the Games and only wanted to send under-19 teams.

"We in the OCA are firm that only top teams should be there in the Games and so we decided drop the game," he said.

Randhir Singh, who is also the secretary general of the Indian Olympic Association, however, did not rule out the chances of cricket being one of the disciplines in the 2010 Commonwealth Games to be held in the capital.

"We are keen to have cricket in 2010 Commonwealth Games and also in the subsequent Asian Games. But it will also depend on the response of the cricket's governing bodies like the ACC and the International Cricket Council," he said.

The former shooting Olympian had a word of advice for the ICC, which, he said, had to bring cricket to multi-discipline Games like Asian Games and Commonwealth Games if the sport needed to be moved beyond a handful of countries.

"Cricket officials must understand the use of multi-discipline Games. If they want to spread cricket they have to bring cricket to such Games."

He also put the onus on BCCI to ensure that cricket was a part of the 2010 Commonwealth Games saying it was for the national federation of the sport to support the initiative.

"National federation of the sport has to first support the inclusion in such games and then the international body comes into picture. It is the BCCI which would have to support us if we want to have cricket in 2010 Games."

On India's bid for the 2014 Asian Games, Randhir Singh said it would be open in the national capital on March 1 and the name of host city would be decided at the annual general body meeting of the OCA in China later this year.

"Though only India and Jordan have so far confirmed their interests in hosting the 2014 Games, Dubai and one city each from Japan and Korea were also interested. But the official list of bidding cities will only be known on March 1."

Regarding other decisions taken at the executive committee meeting, Randhir Singh said the OCA reiterated that the national Olympic committees should have full autonomy. They should work alongwith their respective governments but there should be no interference in the committees' internal affairs, he added.

He said the OCA also decided to reinstate the four-year cycle for the Winter Asian Games.

"Due to the two-year cycle the Games used to clash with some other events and to avoid that we have decided to revert back to the four-year cycle," he said, adding "the 2009 Games have therefore been shifted to 2011".

Meanwhile, deputy director general of OCA Hussain Al-Musallam expressed happiness over the progress being made by the organising committee of the Doha Games.

Hussain, who is in New Delhi to attend the OCA South Asian regional forum meeting, said most of the venues for the Games were ready and the anti-doping centre has already been established.

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