Head of Global Development for the International Cricket Council, William Glenwright is currently in Japan to oversee the development of Japan Cricket Association’s “City of Cricket” project and has provided an interesting update in terms of cricket’s inclusion in the 2026 Asian Games, due to be hosted by Japan.
Glenwright met with JCA (Japan Cricket Association) officials and Regional Development Manager for East Asia-Pacific, Jane Livesy, at Nagoya in the Aichi prefecture to discuss the following points mentioned above and conveyed the same through his twitter account.
An interesting few days with @CricketJapan and @jslivesey in Nagoya meeting with Aichi Prefecture to discuss cricket’s inclusion in the 2026 Asia Games and JCA’s cricket towns Program. Next stop: Sano pic.twitter.com/gXvPnsiOUF
— William Glenwright (@WillGlenwright) September 22, 2018
ICC has been trying to explore the possibility of cricket’s inclusion in the summer Olympic games for some time now, and there were speculations made that it could be possible in the 2028 edition in Los Angeles to include the sport as a discipline to cater to the second-most followed sport in the world, only behind Football.
Hence, a trial in the 2026 Asian Games would be the perfect platform for ICC to explore the possibility of hosting cricket as a discipline in multi-national Games/Events, keeping in mind the structure of the sport (most likely in T20, if not T10). The 2022 edition of the Asian Games will be held at Hangzhou in China and cricket will not feature there as a discipline.
Also, it will need the support of all cricket board’s in the Asian region (including BCCI, who have opposed to the idea before). Hence, there could be a possibility of few Asian Cricket Council meetings as well as ICC meetings to discuss and put the point across for the Asian region member boards to think about and reach a consensus of whether they would like to support the inclusion of cricket or not. And if they do so, whether professional national contracted players would take part in it or U23/amateur/non-contracted professionals are allowed to take part in the competition.