Cricket is to be among four new disciplines to be included in next year's 11th South Asian Games in Bangladesh, it was decided in a meeting of the South Asian Olympic Council (SAOC) held in Kathmandu in February.
The number of disciplines has increased to 23, three more than the previous South Asian Games which was held in Colombo in 2006, when India topped the medals table yet again. Handball, golf and cricket are the sports to be played in the Games for the first time, with basketball re-entering in place of rowing.
The cricket event will be a Twenty20 competition between the U-21 teams of the participating nations: Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. The Games will take place in Dhaka from January 29 to February 10 2010. The teams are in line to receive funds to prepare for the Games from their national Olympic bodies.
“This is a positive move for cricket in South Asia and I’m sure the developing nations will put up a good show. Twenty20 is a great leveller and should Afghanistan, Bhutan and Maldives and Nepal come up against the ODI countries, the matches should be quite competitive,” says ACC Chief Executive Syed Ashraful Huq. Nepal have beaten Bangladesh, Pakistan, New Zealand and South Africa in U-19 World Cups.
Filed February 25, 2009