Cricket Eyes a Spot in the 2026 Asian Games in Japan

Cricket Eyes a Spot in the 2026 Asian Games in Japan


The Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) is looking to include cricket in the upcoming 2026 Asian Games to be held in Japan. This move aligns with efforts to boost the sport's popularity before its return to the Olympics in 2028.

Cricket's Inclusion and Benefits

  • OCA's Desire The OCA is actively working to include cricket in the 2026 Games, viewing it as an opportunity to further establish the sport before its Olympic revival.
  • Boosting Popularity Cricket administrators see multi-sport events like the Asian Games as a platform to increase the sport's popularity globally, especially in Asia.

Challenges and Collaboration

  • Venue Concerns While cricket was included in the 2023 Asian Games, a lack of dedicated facilities in Japan poses a challenge.
  • Finding a Solution The OCA prefers a venue in or around Nagoya, the host city, while an existing stadium exists in Tochigi prefecture, north of Tokyo.
  • Collaboration The OCA is working with the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) to find a suitable solution for a venue.

Looking Ahead

  • Finalization The final decision on the sports program for the 2026 Games will be made in April during the OCA General Assembly.
  • Japan's Support The Japan Cricket Association (JCA) has expressed strong support for the inclusion of cricket, highlighting the potential for growth and leaving a positive legacy for the sport in the country.

Cricket's inclusion in the 2026 Asian Games, if approved, could play a significant role in its global promotion and pave the way for its successful return to the Olympics in 2028.


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