Temperamental Indian women’s cricket team captain Harmanpreet Kaur will only be able to play in the Asian Games if her team reaches the final of the mega event starting September 23 in Hangzhou.
Four teams in both men’s and women’s events — India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh — will be directly playing from the last eight stage, courtesy the ICC T20I ranking on June 1. All the matches will have official T20I status.
Harmanpreet, who has been slapped with a two-match ban for her public outburst after an ODI game against Bangladesh recently, is ineligible to play the quarter-final which will surely be against an associate nation followed by the semi-final against a full member nation.
Even the Ruturaj Gaikwad-led men’s team has got a direct entry into the quarter-final on the basis of its ICC T20 ranking on June 1.
The men’s event will comprise 18 teams while women’s event will have 14 outfits.
The women’s competition will start on September 19 and end with the gold and bronze medal matches on September 26.
The men’s event starts on September 28 and the final will be played on October 7, two days after the men’s ICC 50-over World Cup starts in Ahmedabad.
Will Indian men’s team join contingent a bit late?
If the Indian cricket team qualifies for the final, it will have to play on three back-to-back days — October 5 (quarter-final), October 6 (semi-final) and October 7 (final).
In all likelihood, India’s quarter-final will be against a second-string Afghanistan or Bangladesh team, as the first teams of both nations will be in India during that time for the World Cup.
It is unlikely that the men’s team will be reporting to the Games Village before the start of the opening ceremony as there will be nearly two weeks time before their campaign starts.
Also the BCCI hasn’t yet confirmed whether the cricket teams will stay in the Games Village or at a five-star facility in the city.
In all, 32 matches across men’s and women’s event will be held at the Hangzhou Games, with the women’s event accounting for 14 games and the men’s event having 18.
The Indian men’s team, if it plays till the final, will get to play the afternoon games — 12 noon IST (2:30 pm local time).
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