2026 Asian Games Cricket Participation in Question?

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2026 Asian Games Cricket Participation in Question?
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The Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) is showing keen interest in including cricket at the 2026 Asian Games in Japan and is exploring the possibility of repurposing a baseball stadium in Nagoya for this purpose.

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Cricket administrators believe that multi-sport events like the 2026 Asian Games present a significant opportunity to promote the sport, especially considering its upcoming return to the Olympics in Los Angeles in 2028 after a hiatus of 128 years.

While cricket featured in the Hangzhou Games in China last year, it was omitted from the 2018 Games in Jakarta and Palembang, Indonesia.

“We are currently finalizing the sports program for the 2026 Games, and cricket’s inclusion is a priority,” stated Randhir Singh, the acting president of the OCA, in a conversation with Reuters.

However, the main challenge lies in the lack of cricket facilities in Japan.

The Japan Cricket Association (JCA) proposed utilizing an international stadium in Tochigi prefecture, north of Tokyo. Still, the OCA prefers a venue closer to Nagoya, the capital of Aichi prefecture, where the 2026 Asian Games are scheduled to be held.

According to OCA Deputy Director General Vinod Kumar Tiwari, the Tochigi stadium is a three-and-a-half-hour drive from Nagoya. Tiwari mentioned that the OCA is collaborating with the Asian Cricket Council to address this issue.

The final sports program for the 2026 Asian Games will be determined at an OCA General Assembly in April. As of now, JCA officials have not provided any comments on the matter.

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