Guangzhou: Pakistan has slammed India for snubbing the XVIth Asian Games by refusing to send its cricket team there.
Pakistan coach Sadiq Mohammad insisted that more pressure should have been put on India to respect the Guangzhou tournament, The News reported.
“India said they would come and they said cricket should be in the Asian Games. God knows why they are not here. Somebody should have put added pressure on them,” said Sadiq, after Pakistan’s six-wicket victory over Sri Lanka in the bronze medal play-off.
India chose to give a miss to the Asian Games because of the international commitments faced by their national team, with a home series against New Zealand and an eagerly-awaited tour of South Africa about to get underway.
But Sadiq pointed out that in spite of Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh also having Test and One-day International programmes, all three still sent their second-string teams to both the men’s and women’s events in Guangzhou.
“India said they had to play New Zealand, but our main team had matches to play against South Africa,” he argued.
“India should have taken part in the Asian Games because this would have been a great opportunity for the young players to gain experience,” Sadiq added.
It is for the first time that cricket has become an official Asian Games sport. Bangladesh went on to win the first Asiad gold for their country by defeating Afghanistan in the men’s final, while Pakistan clinched the women’s title.