Asian Games 2023 Cricket: India Announces Squad, Pakistan Eyes Third Gold, and Everything You Need to Know

Asian Games 2023, the 19th edition of the continental mega event, will take place in Hangzhou, China from September 10 to September 25. The event will feature 40 sports, including cricket, which will make its return after a gap of nine years. Cricket was last played at the Asian Games in 2014 in Incheon, South Korea, where Sri Lanka and Pakistan won the gold medals in men’s and women’s categories respectively.

This year, cricket fans will witness some exciting action as 18 men’s teams and 14 women’s teams will compete for the coveted medals in the T20 format. The matches will be played at Zhejiang University of Technology Pingfeng Cricket Field from September 19 to October 7. The women’s matches will begin first on September 19 and conclude on September 27, while the men’s matches will start from September 28 and end on October 7.

The teams will be seeded based on ICC T20I rankings as of June 1, 2023. The top six teams in each category will qualify for the Super Six stage, where they will play against each other in a round-robin format. The top two teams from the Super Six stage will advance to the final, while the third and fourth-placed teams will play for the bronze medal.

India to make debut at Asian Games cricket

One of the most anticipated teams at the Asian Games cricket is India, who will make their debut at the event this year. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced the 15-member squads for both men’s and women’s teams on July 14, along with five standby players for each team.

The men’s team will be led by young batsman Ruturaj Gaikwad, who has impressed everyone with his performances in IPL and domestic cricket. The team also features some promising talents like Yashasvi Jaiswal, Rahul Tripathi, Rinku Singh, Washington Sundar, Ravi Bishnoi, Avesh Khan and Arshdeep Singh. The team will miss the services of some senior players like Shikhar Dhawan, Ravichandran Ashwin and Nitish Rana, who were not considered for selection due to various reasons.

The women’s team will be captained by Harmanpreet Kaur, who is one of the most explosive batters in the world. The team also boasts of some star players like Smriti Mandhana, Shafali Verma, Jemimah Rodrigues, Deepti Sharma and Rajeshwari Gayakwad. The team will look to continue their good form after winning the Women’s Premier League (WPL) earlier this year.

India will face some tough competition from other teams like Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, who have some experienced and talented players in their ranks. Pakistan has been the most successful team in Asian Games cricket history, winning two gold medals and one bronze medal in women’s and men’s categories respectively. Sri Lanka and Bangladesh have also won one gold medal each in men’s category, while Afghanistan has won two silver medals.

The Asian Games cricket will also provide an opportunity for some lesser-known teams like China, Nepal, Oman and UAE to showcase their skills and talent on a bigger stage. The event will also witness some historic matches like India vs Pakistan and Afghanistan vs Pakistan, which are always high-voltage encounters.

The Asian Games cricket promises to be a thrilling spectacle for all cricket lovers across Asia and beyond. The event will also help in promoting and developing the game in the region and inspire more youngsters to take up the sport.