Earlier today, it has been learnt that the BCCI won’t be sending its men’s or women’s teams for the Asian Games, scheduled to take place at Hangzhou in China from September 23 to October 8 later this year. The governing body of cricket in India has cited prior commitments as one of the major reasons for their decision.
India’s chef de mission for the Asian Games, Bhupender Bajwa was quoted as saying to the Indian Express, “We have entries in all sports except one – cricket (team) isn’t going.”
He added, “They (BCCI) said they are preoccupied. We sent 3-4 emails to them but when we had to send entries to the organisers, they said they won’t go.”
A BCCI official also commented on the matter and said, “We had received the mail from IOA just one day before the deadline. At the same time, the BCCI already has finalised the FTP for women's cricket. During the Asian Games, our team won't be available as they will be playing in a tournament.”
According to the Future Tours Programme (FTP) set by ICC, the Indian men’s team will be taking part in the Cricket World Cup at home in October and November at the same time when the Asian Games happen in China. On the other hand, the Indian women’s team will be playing South Africa and New Zealand in limited overs cricket as Hangzhou hosts other Asian nations for cricket.
Although, there have been a few occasions when the BCCI has fielded two different teams in cricket tournaments held at two places. In 1998, one Indian men’s team played in the Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur, while the other team competed in an ODI series at Toronto against Pakistan. As recently as 2021, an Indian men’s team was playing test cricket in England under captain Virat Kohli and the other team was playing limited overs cricket in Sri Lanka under the leadership of Shikhar Dhawan.
Furthermore, the BCCI had sent the Indian women’s team to compete in the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham in July and August last year.