The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Wednesday announced a 15-member India squad to be led by Harmanpreet Kaur in the upcoming Women’s T20 Asia Cup, to be held from October 1-15 in Sylhet, Bangladesh.
Each team will be playing six matches as per the round-robin format. The top four sides will advance to the semifinals, scheduled for October 13, before the title clash happens on October 15.
All the matches of Asia Cup will be held at the Sylhet International Cricket Stadium and Sylhet Outer Cricket Stadium.
India have picked young right-handed batter Jemimah Rodrigues in the squad despite her not taking part in the series against England due to a hand injury sustained in The Hundred competition while playing for the Northern Superchargers, with Harmanpreet revealing that she is still undergoing rehabilitation at the National Cricket Academy (NCA) in Bengaluru.
From the squad which recently lost the T20I series in England 2-1, wicketkeeper-batter Taniyaa Sapna Bhatia and pace all-rounder Simran Dil Bahadur have been moved to being reserve players. Richa Ghosh, the young wicketkeeper-batter, manages to retain her place in the squad after having got the nod ahead of Yastika Bhatia for the T20Is against England.
India have also retained all-rounder Dayalan Hemalatha, who made her international comeback after 2019, and power-hitter Kiran Navgire, who debuted in the format earlier this month, despite the duo not being able to produce great performances on tour of England.
India are the most successful team in the history of the competition, having won six titles. The Women’s Asia Cup has been played in the T20 format since 2012 after having begin in the ODI format.
In the last edition of the Women’s Asia Cup in 2018, India were shocked by Bangladesh in a last-ball thrilling final at Kuala Lumpur and finished as runners-up.
India will start their Asia Cup campaign on October 1, against Sri Lanka. They will next play Malaysia (October 3) and UAE (October 4) on back-to-back days. India will then take on Pakistan on October 7 before facing hosts Bangladesh on October 8. India will play their last round-robin game against Thailand on October 10.
The tournament was originally slated to take place in Bangladesh in 2020, but was later moved to 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic and was ultimately cancelled. Sylhet will also be hosting women’s international cricket matches for the first time since the 2014 Women’s T20 World Cup.
India squad: Harmanpreet Kaur (Captain), Smriti Mandhana (vice-captain), Deepti Sharma, Shafali Verma, Jemimah Rodrigues, Sabbineni Meghana, Richa Ghosh (wicket-keeper), Sneh Rana, Dayalan Hemalatha, Meghna Singh, Renuka Thakur, Pooja Vastrakar, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Radha Yadav, K.P. Navgire.
Standby players: Taniyaa Sapna Bhatia, Simran Dil Bahadur.