Asian Games squad: BCCI announces teams for Men’s and Women’s Cricket for Hangzhou

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has revealed the Asian Games squads for the upcoming competition in Hangzhou, which is the 19th edition of the Games.

The cricket competitions, featuring men's and women's teams, will be held from September 19 to October 8, with the women's tournament scheduled from September 19-28 and the men's tournament from September 28-October 8. Both competitions will adopt the T20 format.

Cricket, which previously featured in the Asian Games in 2010 and 2014, did not witness Indian participation in those editions. However, this time around, the BCCI has confirmed its presence, albeit with a second-string men's side. This decision was influenced by the proximity of the men's ODI World Cup, set to commence in India on October 5, just two days after the conclusion of the Asian Games cricket competition.

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Leading the charge in the men's category of the Asian Games squad for the T20 competition will be Ruturaj Gaikwad, who has been appointed as the captain. The team comprises a talented group of young players, including Yashasvi Jaiswal, Shivam Mavi, Arshdeep Singh, Tilak Varma, Rinku Singh, Prabhsimran Singh and Jitesh Sharma.

On the other hand, the women's team will feature a full-strength lineup under the leadership of Harmanpreet Kaur, with Smriti Mandhana serving as her deputy. Adding a touch of excitement to the squad is the inclusion of 18-year-old pacer Titas Sadhu, who impressed in the recent Women's Under-19 T20 World Cup.

Asian Games squad
Photo by Icon Sport

After an impressive performance in the Commonwealth Games last year, where they clinched the Silver medal, the Indian women's cricket team is all set to showcase their talent once again at the 19th Asian Games Hangzhou. The team had finished second, narrowly behind Australia, in the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham in 2022.

Among the standby players is all-rounder Sneh Rana, who showcased her versatility and impact during recent matches. Pooja Vastrakar, known for her explosive batting and handy bowling, has also been named as a standby player. Another talented player on the standby list is Harleen Deol, who has made waves with her impressive performances in recent times.

The Indian women's cricket team is determined to put their best foot forward and bring home the gold medal. The team's previous success, the competition coming from only Asian teams and the talent present in the squad give them a strong chance of achieving a Gold here.

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Asian Games Squad: India women

Harmanpreet Kaur (c), Smriti Mandhana (vc), Shafali Verma, Jemimah Rodrigues, Deepti Sharma, Richa Ghosh (wk), Amanjot Kaur, Devika Vaidya, Anjali Sarvani, Titas Sadhu, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Minnu Mani, Kanika Ahuja, Uma Chetry (wk), Anusha Bareddy

Standby list of players: Harleen Deol, Kashvee Gautam, Sneh Rana, Saika Ishaque, Pooja Vastrakar

Undoubtedly, the spotlight is firmly on the men's team, boasting several new players and IPL stars. Rinku Singh, who faced questions surrounding his exclusion from the T20 series in the Caribbean, has made the cut. Other notable inclusions are Shivam Dube, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Tilak Varma, and Prabhsimran Singh, all of whom showcased exceptional performances in the IPL.

Notably, only six players from the T20I squad for the Caribbean and USA tour have made it to the Asian Games squad, namely Jaiswal, Tilak, Ravi Bishnoi, Arshdeep Singh, Mukesh Kumar, and Avesh Khan.

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Meanwhile, a few players such as Venkatesh Iyer, who made waves in recent cricketing events, did not secure a spot in the Asian Games squad. Instead, they have been named as reserve players. The list of reserves also features B Sai Sudharsan, who gained attention with a remarkable 47-ball 96 for the Gujarat Titans in the IPL 2023 final against CSK. Additionally, R Sai Kishore from the Gujarat Titans has been included as one of the stand-by players.

After a hiatus since the 2018 Asiad in Jakarta, cricket is making a triumphant return to the Asian Games program in the upcoming Hangzhou Games. Originally slated for the previous year, the games were postponed due to China's strict zero-Covid policy.

Cricket enthusiasts around the world eagerly await the commencement of the Asian Games cricket competitions in Hangzhou, where both the men's and women's teams will strive to achieve glory and bring home accolades for India.

Asian Games squad
Photo by Icon Sport

Asian Games Squad: India men

Ruturaj Gaikwad (Captain), Yashasvi Jaiswal, Rahul Tripathi, Tilak Varma, Rinku Singh, Jitesh Sharma (wk), Washington Sundar, Shahbaz Ahmed, Ravi Bishnoi, Avesh Khan, Arshdeep Singh, Mukesh Kumar, Shivam Mavi, Shivam Dube, Prabhsimran Singh (wk)

Standby list of players: Yash Thakur, Sai Kishore, Venkatesh Iyer, Deepak Hooda, Sai Sudarsan.


Rohit is an experienced cricket writer based in India