The eagerly anticipated cricket matches in the men's and women's circuits at the Hangzhou Asian Games slated to kickstart in September will have official T20I status. Based on their rankings as of June 1, four teams Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and India will directly compete in the last eight stages of both men's and women's events.
The direct entry into the last eight of the event for the Indian women's team means that their officially designated skipper Harmanpreet Kaur will only get to feature at the mega event if her side makes it to the tournament's final. Harmanpreet, who has been handed a ban of two games after her public outburst during the third game of the recently culminated three-match ODI series will not be seen leading the side during the quarterfinal when India will most likely face an associate nation and in the semi-finals of the event.
The women's event will witness the participation of 14 teams while the men's event will see 18 sides locking horns with each other in the bid to clinch a gold medal for their country. The men's event will start on September 28 and end with the summit clash on October 7 - a couple of days after the commencement of the ICC World Cup in Ahmedabad. On the other hand, the women's event will begin on September 19 and culminate with the bronze and gold medal fixtures on September 26.
If the Ruturaj Gaikwad-led side qualifies for the final then that would require them to play on three consecutive days - October 5 (quarterfinal), October 6 (quarterfinal), and October 7 (summit clash). The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has also not confirmed yet whether the cricket teams will stay in the games village or a hotel facility somewhere else in the city. A grand total of 32 games will be played across the women's and the men's circuits, with 14 games slated to be played in the women's event and 18 to be played during the men's event.
Harmanpreet's absence might end up hurting India's chances of securing a gold medal at the multinational event. In addition to her batting prowess that does not need any introduction having successfully led India to the finals of the Commonwealth Games 2022 in Birmingham, the semifinals of the Women's T20 World Cup 2023 in South Africa, she is also an astute tactician and hence her absence will create a massive void.