The Board of Control for Cricket (BCCI) in India on 8 July confirmed that no World Cup-bound cricketers will be considered for selection in the men’s team for Asian Games.
This indicates that India’s first-ever men’s cricket team for the Asian Games will be without regular captain Rohit Sharma, vice-captain Hardik Pandya, star batter Virat Kohli, all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja, keeper-batter KL Rahul, pacers Mohammed Shami and Mohammed Siraj among other regulars in ODIs.
“BCCI will send both men’s and women’s teams to the Asian Games scheduled to be held in September 2023 at Hangzhou, China. However, considering the overlap of schedule of the Asian Games with ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023, BCCI will select from the players not participating in the World Cup to play in the Asian Games,” Hindustan Times quoted BCCI secretary Jay Shah as saying after the 19th Apex Council meeting.
Earlier, the BCCI Apex Council approved on Friday that the IPL version of the much-talked about Impact Player Rule will be used in the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 Trophy (SMAT) beginning 16 October. It us set to take place in Hangzhou, Chinna in September-October.
With Asian Games is set to begin on 23 September and will go on till 8 October, and the 50-over ICC World Cup 2023 tournament to take place in India from 5 October, it makes impossible for India’s star cricketers to participate in the previous tournament as they would be busy in preparations for the latter one. India play their first match against Australia on 8 October.
The BCCI will name a 15-man squad and keep three official reserve players, and India’s men’s team for Asia Games, won’t feature those 18 cricketers picked for the ODI World Cup 2023.
Probable Men’s squad for Asia Games:
It is most likely that Shikhar Dhawan, not in consideration for a World Cup spot, may lead the squad. Other probable cricketers may include Ruturaj Gaikwad, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Rinku Singh, Jitesh Sharma, and Mukesh Kumar.
Probable Women’s-squad for Asia Games:
Like Men’s, there is no such deal. A full-strength squad led by regular captain Harmanpreet Kaur is set to travel to China.
As per details, this would be the third time cricket will be a part of the Asian Games, as previously they — both men’s, and women’s teams — did not participate in the tournament.
Dhawan likely to lead in India in Asian Games, Rinku Singh, Jitesh Sharma to get maiden call-ups
Earlier, it was reported that the Indian team for Asian Games is likely to be led by Shikhar Dhawan, who is not in consideration for a World Cup spot. Other rising youngsters like Rinku Singh, Jitesh Sharma, and Mukesh Kumar could get to make their India debuts in the Asian Games, which will be played in T20 format. The ones narrowly missing out on a World Cup berth can also be considered for the Asian Games. For example, it is unlikely that both Ruturaj Gaikwad and Yashasvi Jaiswal would be among the World Cup 18 as backup openers, one of them (if not both) could be included in the squad for the Asian Games.
There will be no such issues for the women’s team. A full-strength squad led by regular captain Harmanpreet Kaur is set to travel to China for their maiden Asian Games. Notably, the Indian women’s team, in its maiden appearance in the Commonwealth Games last year, ended up as the silver medalists after losing to Australia in the final.
This will be the third time cricket will be a part of the Asian Games. Previously in 2010 and 2014, India did not send either their men’s or women’s teams for the Asian Games.
The men’s teams of Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Afghanistan are also likely to face a similar issue while selecting their squads for the Asian Games.
BCCI makes 5 major announcements after Apex Council meet
Apart from the historic move of giving approval to India’s participation in the Asian Games, BCCI also took a few other key decisions.
– BCCI will formulate a policy for its players (including retired players) with respect to their participation in overseas T20 leagues.
– BCCI shall continue with the concept of Impact Player in Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy in the next season with two variations from previous season and the Indian Premier League – a) The teams will have to select their playing XI along with 4 substitute players before the toss; and (b) The teams can use the Impact Player at any time during the match. In the previous season of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, a team could only use the Impact Player before the 14th over of an innings.
– The BCCI has decided to introduce two bouncers per over in the upcoming Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy to balance the contest between bat and ball.
– BCCI shall work towards the upgradation of stadiums in the country in two phases: (a) The first phase will deal with the upgradation of the venues of ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023, work for which shall be completed before the commencement of the World Cup; and (b) The second phase will involve upgradation of rest of the venues.