Following extensive deliberations, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has granted approval for the participation of both the men's and women's cricket teams in the upcoming Asian Games, scheduled to take place in Hangzhou from September to October. However, due to the impending commencement of the ODI World Cup in early October, the BCCI is hesitant to send their first-choice team. Consequently, it is likely that Shikhar Dhawan will make his return to international cricket, leading a second-string squad in this prestigious event. Nevertheless, the women's team is expected to travel with a full-strength lineup for the competition.
Decision to be finalised at next apex meeting
Cricket was last included in the Asian Games during the 2014 edition held in Incheon, South Korea. India opted out of participation at that time, but circumstances have since changed over the course of the past nine years.
The decision regarding Shikhar Dhawan's leadership for the Asian Games will be finalized during the upcoming Apex Council Meeting of the BCCI, scheduled for July 7.
Decision on players joining foreign leagues
The council members will also address the matter of establishing a policy governing the participation of retired players in overseas leagues.
Under the current regulations, Indian players are prohibited from taking part in foreign leagues. However, there have been instances where players have retired prematurely to join teams in other T20 leagues. The BCCI aims to prevent such situations from recurring, citing the recent case of Ambati Rayudu retiring from the Indian Premier League (IPL) to join the Texas Super Kings in Major League Cricket. The board fears that other players may follow suit and prematurely retire, setting a concerning precedent for the future.
Sponsorships and domestic cricket
Furthermore, the Apex Council Meeting will include discussions on broadcasting rights and jersey sponsorship. The Indian cricket team currently lacks a TV broadcaster for their home season, and the premature departure of BYJU's as the lead sponsor has also had an adverse impact. Consequently, the Rohit Sharma-led side played in the World Test Championship final without a primary sponsor.
The meeting of the Apex Council will also address the finalisation of playing conditions for the upcoming Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy. There are considerations to potentially implement the Impact Player Rule in the upcoming season; however, a thorough discussion will be conducted before confirming this development.