New Delhi: Union Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports Minister Dr M S Gill on Wednesday said cricket should be included in the Asian Games.
Suresh Kalmadi, President of Indian Olympic Association (IOA) and Chairman of the Commonwealth Games Organising Committee has hit out at the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for not sending the Indian cricket team to this year”s Asian Games in China.
Reacting to Kalmadi”s comments, Gill said what he stated is his personal opinion and not that of the Ministry he heads.
He noted real structure of Olympic events is centred on athletics, gymnastics and wrestling or games like hockey, soccer and not cricket.
“I am not sure that things like cricket should not be in the Asian Games. You see, these Olympic events – the World Olympics, Asian Games or the South American Games, their real structure is athletics, gymnastics, wrestling and various things,” said Gill.
The Sports Minister further said it is upto the BCCI to decide whether to send men”s and women”s teams to Guangzhou or not.
“Cricket, as it happens, has so many tournaments, the boys are simply tired. Whatever they talk, they say we are not or they say we are. I should know and they know, everybody knows. Even the race horses rest,” added Gill.
Earlier on Tuesday, the BCCI said it would not send its men”s or women”s cricket team for the Asian Games due to prior international commitments.
The sixteenth Asian Games also known as the XVI Asiad is to be held in Guangzhou in China from November 12 to 27 this year.
Guangzhou will be the second city in China to host the games after Beijing in 1990.
About forty-two events are scheduled for this edition of the Asian Games.