Cricket has become an Asian Games sport after it was approved by the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) on Wednesday. It will make its debut in Guangzhou in 2010 with India and Pakistan pledging to send their best available teams.
The format of the game will be Twenty20, with both men’s and women’s competitions. India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh will qualify automatically, along with host nation China. Other countries will have to play a qualifying round to fill three additional spots.
“India and Pakistan were the drivers,” OCA president Sheikh Ahmad Al-Sabah said. “Pakistan and India will come with their best teams because it will be a big competition. Asia’s four Test-playing nations have committed to sending their best available teams.”
The 2010 Asian Games will take place between November 12 and 27 in Guangzhou. Cricket was last played at a major multi-sport event in 1998 during the Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur.