India in for Asian Games; New Zealand series likely to be postponed

India men and women's sides to participate in the Asian Games cricket competition. India's home calendar could be rejigged to accommodate the event

Nitin Singh
New Update
India women

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The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has agreed to send Indian teams - both men and women - to the Asian Games that's scheduled to take place in Hangzhou, China from September 23 to October 8. The decision was taken at the Apex Council meeting on Friday (July 7) in Mumbai. As a result of this, India's home series against New Zealand that's roughly scheduled at the same time might get delayed.

During the meeting BCCI agreed to the Sports Ministry of India's request to send the Indian sides to games. India did not compete in cricket when it was included in the Asian Games in 2010 and 2014. The governing body also said that they will be sending a first choice women side to the event.

“BCCI will send both men’s and women’s teams to the Asian Games scheduled to be held in September 2023 at Hangzhou, China,” BCCI Secretary Jay Shah said in a statement. 

With BCCI agreeing to the Sports Ministry's request, this will be second multi-sport India women will be taking part outside of the International Cricket Council (ICC) events having participated in the Commonwealth Games 2022. India won the silver medal at the event in Birmingham after they came second against the gold medalists Australia at Edgbaston.

South Africa are visiting India in the September - October window followed by New Zealand six-match limited over bilaterals - three ODIs and three T20Is. Although there hasn't been any official confirmation, Women's CricZone has learnt that the New Zealand series could be pushed to next year if both the visiting teams can't be accomodated at that time. All the ODIs are part of the ICC Women's Championship (IWC) and rejigged fixtures will be announced in due time.

As per the Asian Council regulation for the cut off, the participating countries will have to list their playe list by July 15. That means the Women's Selection Committe will have to pick the squad for the cricket event by that deadline even as India will be busy with their tour of Bangladesh.

With the addition of Asian Games in the cricketing calendar, India will have a busy season post the Bangladesh tour. Some of the players will be in action during The Hundred in England that's scheduled to take place Aug 1 to 27. Harmanpreet Kaur has already signed with Trent Rockets, while Smriti Mandhana has been retained by Southern Brave. Uncapped Royal Challengers Bangalore allrounder Shreyanka Patil will be in action for Guyana Amazon Warriors in the Women's Caribbean Premier League (WCPL). The tournament will be held from August 31 to September 10.

Pakistan Women won the gold medals on both the occassions when cricket was previously part of the Asian Games in 2010 and 2014. India, the current Asia Cup Champions, will be looking to challenge the other subcontinental sides for gold at the games.