KATHMANDU, July 22: The South Asian Olympic Council (SAOC) members have unanimously voted to include cricket and paragliding as disciplines in the South Asian Games (SAG) 2019 to be held in Nepal from March 9 to 18 next year.
With this development, the most popular sport of South Asia will be played in both categories of men and women. Paragliding will also be added in the event.
Secretary General of Maldives Olympic Committee, Ahmed Marzooq confirmed it in his Twitter handle on Saturday. He is also the Member of Olympic Council of Asia’s Media Committee. In the men’s category, U-23 matches will be played with a maximum three players over the age of 23 from the national squad members. Similarly, senior women’s teams will participate in the competition. However, the format is not yet confirmed and it is not sure whether it will be a 20-over per side or a 50-over per side match.
Other sports including athletics, badminton, basketball, football, handball, swimming, shooting, table-tennis, lawn tennis, and volleyball are already part of the south Asian marquee event to be hosted by Nepal.
Nepal had announced to host the 13th edition of the SAG back in 2016. A meeting of the governing body of South Asian Olympic Council held in the capital city had finalized the dates for the 13th SAG. The 12th SAG was held in India in February 2016 in which Nepal was handed the flag of SAOC with a decision to host the upcoming multi-sports event. Though Nepal was supposed to host the game in 2018 earlier, it opted for 2019 in lack of enough preparations.
The 13th SAG will feature only seven teams as Afghanistan withdrew its membership from South Asian Olympic Council. The first South Asian Games was hosted by Nepal in 1984.