Uncertainty surrounds Pakistan baseball team’s participation in Asian Games

The Asian Games are slated to be held in Hangzhou, China, from September 23 to October 8

June 17, 2023
Pakistan baseball team in action — PSB

The Pakistan national baseball team’s participation in the Asian Games is uncertain after the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) decided against bearing the squad’s expenses for the event.

The PSB will only fund three games for the event, which includes hockey, volleyball and Kabaddi.

The development means that the sports federations, who have not been backed by the PSB, will have to fund the athletes out of their own pocket.

In order to participate in the Asian Games, the baseball federation would have to pay for the tickets and daily allowance, $50, of its 30-member squad.

Meanwhile, the Pakistan Olympic Association (POA) said that they will only sponsor athletes who are likely to win medals for their country.

Earlier this year in March, POA secretary Khalid Mehmood said that it had asked all those federations handling individual sports to share with it the names of their top five potential medal prospects so that they could be backed through corporate sector for the Asian Games.

“Relating to this year’s Asian Games we have planned and have written to the federations handling individual sports disciplines to share with us the names of five potential medal winners so that we could request the corporate sector to back their training, preparation and participation. If due to financial crunch Pakistan reduces its contingent so due to assistance from corporate sector our maximum athletes could feature in the Asian Games,” Khalid told reporters.

Asked in how many sports disciplines Pakistan will be featuring in the Asian Games, Khalid said it all depends on the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB).

“The PSB has proposed a 150-member contingent. We, the POA, and the federations, will sit with the Board and it will be seen how much federations will justify themselves and then we will look how we should proceed further,” Khalid said.

The POA has given June 30 as deadline to national federations to submit their final entries by name for the 19th Asian Games, which will be held in Hangzhou, China, from September 23 to October 8 this year. 

Sohail Imran is a senior reporter for Geo News.