In their latest press conference in Guangzhou, the Olympic Council of Asia has emphasized its excitement at having cricket appear in the Asian Games for the first time, in its 16th event.

"Cricket is a popular sport in Asia, an old sport in the Indian sub-continent. I don't know how many million people play cricket in India but I know it is more than play football in Europe," said the Council’s Director General Husain Al-Musallam.

"We thank Guangzhou for accepting this sport and for understanding the culture of cricket and the Asian Games," he said.

Husain Al-Musallam Xu Ruisheng

The Vice Mayor of Guangzhou and Executive Deputy Secretary General of GAGOC Xu Ruisheng, said that GAGOC (The Guangzhou Asian Games Organizing Committee) is making special efforts to promote cricket locally, one of five new events among the 42 at the Games next year. The Asian Cricket Council is donating copies of videos featuring the country’s national cricketers to schools and colleges in China.

The new custom-built cricket stadium, one of 70 to be used for the Guangzhou Games, is expected to be ready in June. Located in the Guangdong University of Technology in the Higher Education Mega Centre and encompassing an area of 6355 sq m, with seating for 12,000 spectators. The stadium will host the first international level cricket ever played in China.

The one-year countdown to the Games starts on November 12.

Cricket to Make Big Impact in Asian Games: OCA
2010 Asian Games Official Site
Olympic Council of Asia

Filed Nov 4th, 2009