Exploring Cricket’s Inclusion at 2026 Asian Games Amid Venue Challenges


The Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) is actively pursuing the inclusion of cricket in the 2026 Asian Games, to be hosted in Japan. To accommodate this, discussions are underway regarding the potential conversion of a baseball stadium in Nagoya for cricket matches.

Cricket administrators see multi-sport events like the Asian Games as a significant opportunity to elevate the sport, especially considering its impending return to the Olympic stage at the Los Angeles 2028 Games, marking a gap of 128 years since its last appearance.

While cricket made an appearance at the Hangzhou Games in China last year, it was notably absent from the 2018 Games in Jakarta and Palembang, Indonesia.

We are still in the process of finalizing the sports program for the 2026 Games, but cricket’s inclusion is certainly a priority,

stated OCA acting president Randhir Singh in an interview with Reuters.

However, the main hurdle remains the scarcity of cricket facilities in Japan.

Despite the Japan Cricket Association (JCA) offering an international stadium in Tochigi prefecture, situated north of Tokyo, the OCA is leaning towards a facility closer to Nagoya, the capital of Aichi prefecture and the designated venue for the Games.

According to OCA Deputy Director General Vinod Kumar Tiwari, the Tochigi stadium’s distance from Nagoya, approximately a three-and-a-half-hour drive, poses logistical challenges that the OCA seeks to avoid.

We are collaborating closely with the Asian Cricket Council to address this matter,

Tiwari added.

The finalization of the sports program for the 2026 Games is scheduled to take place at an OCA General Assembly in April, pending resolution of venue concerns.

Representatives from the Japan Cricket Association were not available for immediate comment on the matter.

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