Cricket
Infra issues notwithstanding, Asian Games 2026 cricket likely in baseball stadiums

Infra issues notwithstanding, Asian Games 2026 cricket likely in baseball stadiums

After success in Hangzhou Asiad and Olympics return, Cricket in Asian Games 2026 likely with OCA's backing to host matches in baseball stadiums.

Cricket matches in Japan may not intrigue fans due to the lack of infrastructure in the country. But the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) is pushing for it nonetheless. If OCA’s plans get approval, cricket in the Asian Games will continue after mixed success in Hangzhou Asiad. Cricket will return to the Olympics after 128 years in LA 28. A final decision on cricket in the Asian Games 2026 will be taken in April.

Like the USA, cricket infrastructure in Japan raised questions on the viability of having cricket in Asiad Aichi-Nagoya.

“We are still working on the sports programme for the 2026 Games but yes, we would want cricket to be part of it,” OCA acting president Randhir Singh told PTI.

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Can Japan host cricket matches?

It’s not that Japan does not have a cricket stadium at all. In Tochigi prefecture, there is a cricket stadium. However, it will be a three-and-a-half-hour journey from the Asian Games 2026 venue in Aichi-Nagoya.

As per a PTI report, the OCA wants to convert the baseball stadium in Aichi-Nagoya to a temporary cricket venue. In that case, there will be drop-in pitches. In the USA, until recently, baseball stadiums were converted to play cricket.

“It will be great to have cricket in 2026, and we will provide all kinds of support. It would leave a fantastic legacy and go a long way in promoting the game in the country,” Japan Cricket Association chief executive Naoki Alex Miyaji told PTI.

It should be noted that the Japan Cricket Association recently rejoined the Asian Cricket Council. Japan is also in the running to host the Asia Cup sometime shortly.

Japan has an international cricket stadium in Tochigi prefecture

Cricket in Asian Games

India Cricket Team — both men and women — bagged gold medals in Hangzhou Asiad 2023.

EditionMen’s GoldWomen’s Gold
2010 Guangzhou Bangladesh Pakistan
2014 Incheon Sri LankaPakistan
2022 HangzhouIndiaIndia

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