NEW DELHI: The International Basketball Federation (FIBA) has assigned India to host the inaugural Commonwealth basketball championship in 2010.

At a function organised here on Saturday night, FIBA President Bob Elphinston announced that India had agreed to host the event for men in late July, months before the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi.

“Basketball was a part of the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games. But it is not there in the 2010 Games. So this is the next best possible thing from which young boys and girls in India can know about the game. It is going to be a wonderful opportunity for Indian basketball to grow further,” Elphinston told reporters.

Eight top teams will participate in the event and Australia, New Zealand, England, Nigeria and host India have confirmed participation.

Elphinston said the Indian Government and the Basketball Federation of India (BFI) will decide on the venue and dates of the event.

After conducting the men’s event, the FIBA will organise the Commonwealth championship for women in 2012 in some other country.

BFI Secretary General Harish Sharma said they would leave no stone unturned to make the event a success.

“This is a proud moment for us. I thank FIBA for this. They thought we were capable of hosting it. As the Indian government has put basketball in special category, we will have no problem in providing the best facilities,” he said. — Sports Reporter

More In: SPORT | Today's Paper