BIG NEWS: WC absentee star batter returns as India announce squad for Women's Asia Cup; high-octane Pakistan's clash on cards
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced the 15-member India women's cricket team squad for the upcoming Women's Asia Cup which is slated to kick off from October 1 in Bangladesh.
India's regular skipper Harmanpreet Kaur will be seen spearheading the team with Smriti Mandhana as deputy alongside. Meanwhile, World Cup 2022's absentee Jemimah Rodrigues, who also missed India's tour of England owing to injury, stormed back into the India's fold.
India have not made any changes to the T20I squad which played in England earlier in September. Wicketkeeper Taniya bhatia and and bowler Simran Bahadur have been added to the standby group. The two players were part of the squad for the three-match series in England. Richa Ghosh has been picked to keep wickets, while Renuka Singh, Meghna Singh and Pooja Vastrakar will make up the pace attack.
While Mandhana and Shafali Verma are set to open for India, Sabbineni Meghana, Dayalan Hemalatha and KP Navgire are the other batters picked in the side, along with Harmanpreet and Jemimah.
All-rounder Deepti Sharma will also, of course, add to India's batting depth, while Radha Yadav, Sneh Rana and Rajeshwari Gayakwad are the spinners in the squad apart from her.
The Indian women's team begin their campaign against Sri Lanka on October 1 in the tournament opener, and they will lock horn with arch-rivals Pakistan on October 7.
The eighth edition of the Women Asia Cup 2022 will feature seven teams playing for the coveted cup with the final scheduled to be played on October 15.
The tournament will feature India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Malaysia, UAE and Bangladesh.
Bangladesh is set to host the tournament and the matches will be played at the Sylhet International Cricket Stadium.
India will begin their campaign against Sri Lanka and will play its opening match on October 1 at the Sylhet International Cricket Stadium ground 2, with the match starting at 1:30 pm. India will play a total of six matches in a round-robin format before the semi-finals are decided and will hope to make it to the finals of the tournament.
They next play Malaysia (October 3) and UAE (October 4) on successive days before taking on Pakistan.
The Indian eves face off against hosts Bangladesh on October 8 and the round-robin game against minnows Thailand is on October 10.
Jay Shah stated that the tournament is the first one in which seven teams will be participating. He also mentioned the all-female tournament in which the umpires and match referees will also be female officials.
"For the first time in the history, 7 women's teams will be participating in a complete round robin format which we anticipate will be a great boost to the ACC associate teams. We are also very pleased to note that the tournament will be conducted in line with ACC's vision for women's cricket," ACC President Jay Shah had stated earlier.
Meanwhile, Pakistan and Sri Lanka also announced their squad for the the Asia Cup respectively.
Harmanpreet Kaur (c), Smriti Mandhana (vc), Deepti Sharma, Shafali Verma, Jemimah Rodrigues, Sabbineni Meghana, Richa Ghosh (wk), Sneh Rana, Dayalan Hemalatha, Meghna Singh, Renuka Thakur, Pooja Vastrakar, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Radha Yadav, K.P. Navgire Reserve players: Taniya Sapna Bhatia, Simran Dil Bahadur.
Bismah Maroof (c), Aimen Anwar, Aliya Riaz, Ayesha Naseem, Diana Baig, Kainat Imtiaz, Muneeba Ali (wk), Nida Dar, Omaima Sohail, Sadaf Shamas, Sadia Iqbal, Sidra Amin, Sidra Nawaz (wk) and Tuba Hasan. Reserve players: Nashra Sundhu, Natalia Pervaiz, Umme Hani and Waheeda Akhtar.
Sri Lanka's squad
Chamari Athapaththu (c), Hasini Perera, Harshitha Samarawickrama, Kaveesha Dilhari, Nilakshi de Silva, Anushka Sanjeevani (wk), Kaushini Nuthyanga, Oshadhi Ranasinghe, Malsha Shehani, Madushika Meththananda, Inoka Ranaweera, Rashmi Silva, Sugandika Kumari, Achini Kulasooriya, Tharika Sewwandi.