Indian Women’s Cricket Team Makes Historic Debut as Cricket Returns to Asian Games in T20 Format


In a historic moment for cricket enthusiasts and fans alike, women’s cricket made its debut in the Asian Games, marking a significant milestone for the sport. The Indian women’s team will kick off their first match in the highly-anticipated event against Malaysia at 6:30 va.m. (India time), and India’s women’s cricket team assured themselves of at least a medal.
The Indian women’s cricket team, often referred to as the ‘Women in Blue,’ who secured a silver medal at the Commonwealth Games last year, has their eyes firmly set on the gold at the Asian Games 2023. Leading the charge is the talented Smriti Mandhana, who has stepped into the captain’s role in the absence of the originally designated captain, Harmanpreet Kaur. Kaur’s suspension, stemming from an emotional outburst during an ODI against Bangladesh, has sidelined her for two crucial matches.
The return of cricket to the Asian Games after a nine-year hiatus has ignited fervor among cricket enthusiasts. This time, the sport features the fast-paced T20 format, adding an extra layer of excitement. Notably, this marks the debut appearance of Indian cricket teams at this prestigious event, elevating anticipation levels.
The Indian women’s cricket team is geared up for a crucial quarterfinal clash against Malaysia in Hangzhou, China. This development follows Malaysia’s impressive 22-run victory over Hong Kong in a Group B encounter at the Pingfeng Campus Cricket Field.
In a twist of fate, Hong Kong secured their spot in the quarterfinals by defeating Mongolia in the quarterfinal qualifier. A victory for India would propel them into a match against either Bangladesh or Hong Kong in the subsequent round. It’s worth noting that all cricket fixtures at the Asian Games are played in the electrifying T20 format.
Despite India’s previous successes against Malaysia, having emerged victorious in their previous encounters, the Indian team will miss the leadership of Harmanpreet Kaur due to her suspension. Stepping up to lead the team in her absence is Smriti Mandhana, who is determined to make India’s debut at the Asian Games memorable.
This event signifies cricket’s triumphant return to the Asian Games after nearly a decade, with the sport last featuring in the 2010 and 2014 editions. The Indian women’s cricket team has already showcased its mettle by clinching a silver medal at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.
India’s squad boasts a talented lineup, featuring the likes of Jemimah Rodrigues, Shafali Verma, Deepti Sharma, and Richa Ghosh. The history of cricket at the Asian Games reveals that, prior to Hangzhou, the sport was included only twice – in Guangzhou in 2010 and Incheon in 2014. On both occasions, Pakistan emerged victorious in the women’s events, defeating Bangladesh in the finals. This marks the second multi-sport event appearance for the Indian women’s cricket team, following their commendable performance at the Commonwealth Games 2022 in Birmingham, where they secured a silver medal after a thrilling encounter with Australia in the final.
Cricket aficionados and fans worldwide eagerly await the unfolding drama and action as the Indian women’s cricket team takes on new challenges at the Asian Games 2023.
Sunil Yash Kalra is a Women’s Cricket Historian and founder of Indian Sports Fans.