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Cricket – The Asian Games farce

Dec 7, 2010 2:40:57 PM - thesundayleader.lk

By Hilal Suhaib (islandcricket.lk/blogs/hilal)

Cricket made it’s debut at the 2010 Asian Games in China. Although prominent Asian sides like Sri Lanka and Pakistan sent second string sides due to international commitments, and India opted to boycott the event, it still is a historic moment.

It was heartening to hear that tickets for the cricket matches were sold out. But in the opening match of the competition, the stands were empty.

Earlier this month gulfnews.com carried this story in their sports section: Tickets for cricket in Asian Games sold out.

An excerpt below,

Information made available to Gulf News through the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) from the Guangzhou Asian Games Organising Committee (GAGOC), revealed that tickets for all weekend matches for men and women as well as the opening day match at the Guanggong International Cricket Stadium have been sold out.

The ACC say they are “investigating” the matter.

What’s at stake here?

“If cricket does well at the Asian Games, it could be an Olympic event soon, so this debut is extremely important,” Sri Lanka’s first Test captain, now a technical director for the ACC, Bandula Warnapura told the Hindustan Times last week explaining the importance of this debut.

Cricket’s presence at this event is at stake. South Korea, the hosts of the next Asian games have said they want it out. To add to that, cricket has also been kicked out of the Commonwealth Games in recent times.

It has now been revealed that the organisers themselves have purchased all tickets.

“Frankly, we don’t know what happened, but we are trying to find out,” Asian Cricket Council spokesman Shahriar Khan said.

“It is true no tickets were available online, the only way they could be bought. I had many people asking me for tickets, but there was little I could do.

“It was definitely not a nice feeling to see empty stands for what was a historic moment.”

Khan said he was told the Games organising committee (GAGOC) had bought all the tickets to ensure a full house, but were unable to distribute them.

This Blog post first appeared on Island Cricket (http://www.islandcricket.lk/) on November 14, 2010. It is republished here with permission from the source.