Japan wants to host cricket at Asian Games
The Japanese Cricket Association is pushing for cricket's inclusion in the 2026 Asian Games. It also wants to host the ICC World Cup in the future.
While cricket's inclusion in multi-sports events like the Asian Games later this year continues to be seen as an experiment, the hosts for the next edition of the Asian Games, Japan, are doing their best to continue cricket's association.
The list of sports at the 2026 Asian Games in Japan is set to be finalised soon. Japan want cricket to be one of the sports in the programme as it hopes that this can be a pathway to host more prestigous cricket events like the ICC World Cup.
"It's very important to get cricket into the 2026 Asian Games and put the game in front of people," JCA head of operations Alan Curr told Forbes Magazine. "We want to be seen as a country that could potentially host a World Cup down the track," Curr insisted.
Japan played in the ICC men’s Under-19 World Cup held in South Africa in 2020, where they lost to both India and Sri Lanka. In 2022, Japan played their first ever T20 international match against Indonesia. This year, the ICC announced that Japan and Indonesia would be included in Asian Cricket Council (ACC) pathway events.
Although baseball remains much more popular in Japan, cricket has been played there since 1863. The Japanese men’s team is currently ranked 60 in the ICC rankings for T20 and the women are ranked 52.
Cricket was part of two editions of the Asiad, in 2010 and 2014, before returning to the programme for the Hangzhou Games.