Dubai: All tickets for cricket in the Asian Games to be held in China have been sold out within hours of being made available for the weekend matches.

Information made available to Gulf News through the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) from the Guangzhou Asian Games Organising Committee (GAGOC), revealed that tickets for all weekend matches for men and women as well as the opening day match at the Guanggong International Cricket Stadium have been sold out.

Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh are the three Test-playing nations that will compete along with Hong Kong, Maldives, and Nepal. Though the UAE had qualified to play for the Asian Games, the Emirates Cricket Board decided to pull out as the organisers insisted that players should be UAE passport holders.

The huge response for cricket in China, where cricket is yet to make its mark is being seen as a positive sign by the ACC officials.

Speaking to Gulf News, Ashraf Ul Haq, the ACC Chief Executive said: "We are focusing a lot on spreading the game in China as there is tremendous potential for the game there. We have posted our development officers there to ensure spotting of talent and to spread of the game."

The matches will be held as per the Twenty20 format and the stadium has a capacity of 6,000.

The tournament will be held from November 13 to 26. The men's team has been divided into four groups. Group C is made up of China and Malaysia while Group D will comprise Hong Kong, Maldives and Nepal. Group E is made up of Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, while Bangladesh and Pakistan are in Group F.

The women's teams are Pakistan, Thailand, China, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Hong Kong, Nepal and Japan.