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Rediff.com  » Sports » BCCI only interested in making money out of cricket: OCA

BCCI only interested in making money out of cricket: OCA

Last updated on: October 04, 2014 15:53 IST

BCCI chief N Srinivasan

BCCI chief N Srinivasan. Photograph: Rupak De Chowdhuri/Reuters

BCCI's decision to not send Indian teams for the Asian Games drew sharp criticism from the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) on Saturday, which accused the influential cricket board of treating the sport just as a business venture.

"They have not sent the team for the second time to the Games. While I respect their decision, I am sorry to say and I believe they are not interested in promotion of the game but only in making it a business, in making money out of it," said the OCA president at a media conference.

"The fact remains that they are looking at the financial situation and how to control the game. They are holding it too close to their chest like a baby but they need to realise that this baby has to grow."

Cricket made its Asian Games debut four years ago at Guangzhou, where BCCI neither sent the men's nor the women's team.

For the Incheon Games, after it was retained in the Games programme thanks to the persuasion of the OCA president, BCCI decided not to send its teams.

"Cricket is a very famous sport in that region and in the Commonwealth countries. It's a top sport in India. All the athletes of various sports like Wu Shu, Kabaddi, Sepak Takraw which are not in the Olympic Games are participating in these Games. I am sad that the top athletes of cricket were not allowed to take part," said Sheikh Al-Sabah.

He also said that by not sending them they are killing cricket and if this trend continued, the game can never become part of the Olympic Games but will remain confined to the Commonwealth.

"We believe in providing good environment for all the games," he added.

Among the full ICC members, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh sent both men's and women's teams while Pakistan's women’s team competed here. China and South Korea also took part in both men’s and women’s competition.

Sri Lanka beat Afghanistan in the final to win the gold medal on Thursday.

Japanese swimmer Hagino names Asiad MVP

Gold medalist Kosuke Hagino of Japan celebrates during the victory ceremony for the men's 400m individual medley final

Gold medalist Kosuke Hagino of Japan celebrates during the victory ceremony for the men's 400m individual medley final at the Munhak Park Tae-hwan Aquatics Center in Incheon. Photograph: Kim Kyung-hoon/Reuters

Japanese swimmer Kosuke Hagino was named as the MVP for the 17th Asian Games, which ended on Saturday, recognising his dominant performances in the pool.

The 20-year-old university student showed why he could be the man to take over from Michael Phelps as swimming's ultimate ironman by winning seven medals, including four golds, in just six days of competition.

Showing no sign of fatigue or weariness despite his grueling schedule, Hagino won the 200 and 400 metres individual medleys, two of the most exhausting events in swimming, as well as the 200m freestyle and the 4x200m freestyle relay.

He also won a silver medal in 400m freestyle and bronze medals in 100m and 200m backstroke.

"I'm honored to win this award," he told a news conference in Incheon on Saturday.

"I had no idea I could win this award at the beginning of the Asian Games."

Hagino joined Kosuke Kitajima (1998) and Park Tae-hwan (2006) as only the third swimmer to win the award, which was decided by a vote of journalists covering the Asian Games.

He was one of eight athletes short-listed for the award but loomed as the favourite after winning the most gold and overall medals of the 9,500 competitors.

His win in the 200m freestyle was also one of the biggest moments of the Games as she stormed home on the last lap to beat Park and China's Sun Yang, two of the world's most accomplished swimmers.

"I knew that there won't be many opportunities for me to compete against great athletes such as Sun Yang and Park Tae-hwan, so I didn't want to waste the chance by submitting to nervousness," Hagino said.

"It was a very exciting and memorable experience for me."

Inspired by Phelps, Hagino has modelled his own programme and training on the American and now has his sights set on the 2016 Rio Olympics.

"I'm confident that I will have improved my swimming ability by the Olympic Games," he said.

"I'd like to obtain results that fit my level at the time of the competition, and record-wise I'd like to challenge the world records."

China take two more golds on final day to break 150-mark

China's Xu Xin reacts after winning a point against his compatriot Fan Zhendong at the men's final table tennis match at Suwon Gymnasium

China's Xu Xin reacts after winning a point against his compatriot Fan Zhendong at the men's final table tennis match at Suwon Gymnasium on Saturday. Photograph: Kim Kyung-Hoon/Reuters

China won two more table tennis gold medals at the Asian Games on Saturday, pushing their overall tally to 151 for the multi-sports event, while hosts South Korea finished runners-up for a fifth straight Games ahead of Japan in third.

The South Koreans earned 79 golds in total, 11 shy of their pre-Games target, while Japan ended on 47 and were some way short of displacing the hosts as the next best in Asia.

A strong performance in boxing and canoeing helped Kazakhstan to fourth place (28 golds) ahead of Iran (21) and Thailand (12).

North Korea, whose participation in the 17th Asiad was in doubt just a few months before the opening ceremony, finished in seventh place with 11 gold medals, their best performance since finishing fourth in 1990 with 12 golds.

The backbone of the North's success was their impressive weightlifters, who won four golds and broke five world records.

On the final day of competition, Xu Xin won men's singles gold and compatriot Liu Shiwen the women's crown as China scooped six of the seven table tennis titles at the Sept. 19 to Oct. 4 Games.

North Korea's mixed doubles team put paid to their chances of a clean sweep by beating them in the quarter-finals earlier in the week.

China's overall gold medal haul of 151 is down sharply from the 199 they won at the last Games in Guangzhou, though there were 37 fewer golds to be won in Incheon.

China have finished top of the medal standings at every Games since the 1982 Asiad and the president of the Olympic Council of Asia, Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah, said the Chinese dominance would spur its rivals on to become more competitive.

"The top five nations of the Asian Games medal tally are in the top 20 at the Olympics, which means Asia can meet the international standards," he told a news conference.

"Whoever deserves it will get a medal. I think China’s good efforts will encourage athletes from other countries to work harder."

South Korea also took two gold medals on the final day, winning both soft tennis team titles, while Japan, Kuwait and Taiwan rounded off the karate titles.

Taiwan's Ku Tsui Ping won the last gold medal of the Games, beating Kazakh Yekaterina Khupovets in the final of the women's -50kg karate kumite competition.

 OCA open to change rules after Qatar hijab row

A basketball flies through the air, thrown by a member of Nepal's women's basketball team, as they wait for their Qatari opponents to arrive for their scheduled game at the 17th Asian Games in Incheon September 25, 2014

A basketball flies through the air, thrown by a member of Nepal's women's basketball team, as they wait for their Qatari opponents to arrive for their scheduled game at the 17th Asian Games in Incheon September 25, 2014. Photograph: Jason Reed/Reuters

Women's basketball teams at future Asian Games could be allowed to wear hijabs thanks to the stand taken by Qatar's players at the Incheon Asiad, the head of the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) said on Saturday.

Qatar's women had been asked to remove their head coverings before their opening game against Mongolia last week, but refused to abide by the International Basketball Federation (FIBA) rules banning "headgear, hair accessories and jewellery".

The players opted to forfeit their matches and flew home early from the Games, which are being run under the slogan: 'Diversity Shines Here'.

Basketball is the only sport at the Games which enforces such a rule and OCA President Sheikh Ahmad Al-Fahad Al-Sabah said it went against Olympic ideals of fairness and equality.

"I am upset about the hijab," Sheikh Ahmad told reporters. "The hijab is related to culture, not religion. It has been approved in all sports on the Olympic programme, only basketball (has not)."

Competition at the Asian Games is conducted under the regulations of the sports' international governing bodies, meaning athletes in other sports are free to wear hijabs.

Sheikh Ahmad said the rule had prevented other women's basketball teams from competing at the Games, which end later on Saturday, but added that talks had taken place with FIBA.

"There were some athletes who could not participate at the Games. Qatar, Afghanistan, Iran. They are not participating here because of the hijab (rule), not because they don't have athletes.

"But I think this was the door to solve the problem for the future.

"The good news is that we have already discussed this with the international federation of basketball. And I think we will reach an understanding. They will start it in some club event and they will approve it."

The Sheikh added that he appreciated the work of FIBA and its secretary general Patrick Baumann in helping find a solution to the problem.

The wearing of hijabs has become a hot topic in sport in recent years with Muslim athletes complaining that they are being discriminated against.

Judoka Wojdan Ali Seraj Abdulrahim Shaherkani hit the headlines at the 2012 London Olympics when Saudi Arabia demanded she be allowed to compete wearing a hijab.

While international judo federation rules at the time barred her from doing so, Shaherkani was eventually allowed to compete wearing a modified veil.

Senior NKorea officials to make rare visit to South to attend closing

Flag bearer of North Korea Sok Yongbom leads the team into the Opening Ceremony of the 17th Asian Games in Incheon September 19, 2014

Flag bearer of North Korea Sok Yongbom leads the team into the Opening Ceremony of the 17th Asian Games in Incheon September 19, 2014. Photograph: Jason Reed/Reuters

Three senior North Korean officials will make a rare visit to South Korea on Saturday to attend the Asian Games closing ceremony in what could potentially bring a breakthrough in tense ties between the rival Koreas.

Heading the delegation will be Hwang Pyong So and Choe Ryong Hae, who are senior aides to North Korea's supreme leader Kim Jong Un, South Korea's Unification Ministry spokesman told a news briefing.

The announcement of the visit comes as a surprise because Pyongyang has been issuing invectives toward the South and President Park Geun-hye, criticising her calls for Pyongyang to end its arms programme and improve human rights conditions.

The two Koreas are technically at war because their 1950-53 conflict ended in a truce and without a peace treaty. Armed clashes in recent years have killed soldiers on both sides, and in 2010 civilians in the South were killed when the North bombed an island.

Hwang is the head of the North Korean army's General Political Department, a powerful apparatus loyal to the secretive country's leader and a key post overseeing the 1.2-million-member military.

Kim has been absent from public view since Sept. 3, fuelling speculation that he may be in bad health.