Asian Games teams confirmed
The men's and women's cricket competitions at the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea, will both feature ten teams. The event takes place from the 19th September until 4th October.
Bangladesh and Sri Lanka are the only two full members sending both men's and women's teams, whilst Pakistan will be sending a team for the women's competition only. India are not sending a team to either, as with the 2010 event.
Bangladesh will have just returned from a tour of the West Indies so may opt to rest their top players, but with no other cricket before the start of the World Cup, they may pick a strong squad in order to give their players experience of a tournament environment. The last tournament saw them pick something of a mixture of a first and second team.
For Sri Lanka, the tournament comes between a visit from Pakistan in August and a visit by England in November. Last time, they opted to send an A team, and were beaten in the semi-finals by Bangladesh before losing the bronze medal match to Pakistan.
The associate and affiliate sides competing in the men's tournament will be Afghanistan, China, Hong Kong, Kuwait, Malaysia, the Maldives and Nepal in addition to hosts South Korea. The latter have been attempting to convert Korean baseball players into cricketers, and are currently touring Fiji as part of their preparation.
With the Asian Games rules requiring all participants to be nationals of the country they are representing, ODI status team the UAE have been unable to raise a team. Upwards of 80% of the population of that country are non-nationals, with even people born and raised in the UAE rarely able to obtain nationality.
The three full members playing in the women's tournament will be joined from the associate and affiliate ranks by China, Hong Kong, Japan, Malaysia, Nepal and Thailand as well as hosts South Korea, who will be making their debut in international women's cricket.
A new ground - the Yeonhui Cricket Ground - has been constructed in Incheon for the tournament, which will feature 7 turf wickets and seating for over 2,000 spectators.
The exact format of the tournaments is yet to be confirmed, but is likely to see the teams in both events divided into two groups of five with the top two playing in semi-finals followed by the medal matches.
The last Asian Games in Guangzhou, China, saw cricket being played for the first time. Bangladesh were the gold medallists in the men's competition, with Afghanistan and Pakistan taking home the silver and bronze medals respectively. The women's competition saw Pakistan take home the gold medal, Bangladesh the silver and Japan the bronze.
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