India enter the tournament as the favourites, but can expect a stiff challenge from defending champions Bangladesh and other teams.
The Women’s Asia Cup is set to return to action for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic engulfed the planet with the eighth edition of the continental event taking place in Bangladesh, the home turf of the defending champions.
Much like the men’s event, the Women’s Asia Cup had last been held in 2018 and had to undergo multiple delays due to issues posed by the coronavirus pandemic that spread across the world in early 2020 and forced the cancellation or postponement of multiple sporting events that year.
Six-time champions India enter the tournament as the favourites given their recent success in the Commonwealth Games as well as in the limited-overs tour of England, as well as their overall record in the tournament.
India’s status as strong title contenders however, does not take anything away from the threat posed by teams such as Bangladesh, who beat the Women in Blue in the 2018 final in Kuala Lumpur to win their maiden title and become the first team other than India to lift the trophy.
Ahead of the tournament’s opening match, we take a look at the schedule, full squads and other details you need to know:
1st October: Bangladesh vs Thailand at Sylhet (8.30 am); India vs Sri Lanka (1 pm).
2 October: Malaysia vs Pakistan (8.30 am); Sri Lanka vs UAE (1 pm).
3 October: Bangladesh vs Pakistan (8.30 am); India vs Malaysia (1 pm).
4 October: Sri Lanka vs Thailand (8.30 am); India vs UAE (1 pm).
5 October: Malaysia vs UAE (8.30 am).
6 October: Pakistan vs Thailand (8.30 am); Bangladesh vs Malaysia (1 pm).
7 October: Thailand vs UAE (8.30 am); India vs Pakistan (1 pm).
8 October: Malaysia vs Sri Lanka (8.30 am); Bangladesh vs India (1 pm).
9 October: Malaysia vs Thailand (8.30 am); Pakistan vs UAE (1 pm).
10 October: Bangladesh vs Sri Lanka (8.30 am); India vs Thailand (1 pm).
11 October: Bangladesh vs UAE (8.30 am); Pakistan vs Sri Lanka (1 pm).
13 October: Semi Final 1 (8.30 am); Semi Final 2 (1 pm).
15 October: Final (1 pm).
Venue: The Sylhet International Cricket Stadium in the eastern city of Sylhet will host all the matches across the tournament, including the semi-finals and the final.
Format: There are a total of seven teams participating in this year’s Asia Cup — which is taking place in the T20 format — including UAE and Malaysia who enter the tournament via the ACC Women’s T20 Championship. The other teams participating are defending champions Bangladesh, six-time winners India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Thailand.
All the matches will be played in round-robin format where every team takes on each of the remaining sides once. At the end of the group stage, the top four teams will progress into the semi-finals, with the two winners from those knockout matches then locking horns in the final for the shining trophy.
India: 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
Pakistan: 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: 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
Malaysia: Winifred Duraisingam (c), Mas Elysa (vc), Sasha Azmi, Aisya Eleesa, Ainna Hamizah Hashim, Elsa Hunter, Jamahidaya Intan, Mahirah Izzati Ismail, Wan Julia (wk), Dhanusri Muhunan, Aina Najwa (wk), Nurilyaa Natasya, Nur Arianna Natsya, Nur Dania Syuhada, Noor Hayati Zakaria
Thailand: Naruemol Chaiwai (c), Sornnarin Tippoch, Nattaya Boochatham, Nannapat Koncharoenkai (wk), Nattakan Chantam, Rosenan Kanoh, Onnicha Kamchomphu, Phannita Maya, Thipatcha Putthawong, Nanthita Boonsukham, Suwanan Khiaoto, Suleeporn Laomi, Chanida Sutthiruang, Aphisara Suwanchonrathi, Sunida Chaturongrattana
Bangladesh: Nigar Sultana (c & wk), Murshida Khatun, Fargana Hoque, Rumana Ahmed, Nahida Akter, Ritu Moni, Shohely Akhter, Lata Mondal, Sobhana Mostary, Salma Khatun, Shanjida Akter, Sharmin Akhter, Fahima Khatun, Shamima Sultana, Fariha Trisna, Marufa Akter
UAE: Chaya Mughal (c), Esha Rohit Oza, Kavisha Egodage, Theertha Satish (wk), Khushi Sharma, Samaira Dharnidharka, Siya Gokhale, Vaishnave Mahesh, Natasha Cherriath, Indhuja Nandakumar, Rithika Rajith, Lavanya Keny, Suraksha Kotte, Priyanjali Jain, Rinitha Rajith.
Live telecast and streaming
The 2022 Women’s Asia Cup will be telecast on the Star Sports Network, with matches streamed live on Disney+ Hotstar. Additionally, one can follow the live scorecard and updates of the Asia Cup matches on Firstpost.com.
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