Reports: Shikhar Dhawan to lead India at Asian Games

After a lot of discussions, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has given the green light for the men’s and women’s teams to participate in the upcoming Asian Games, which is slated to be held in Hangzhou in September-October. Meanwhile, since the ODI World Cup is set to begin in early October, BCCI is hesitant to send its first team and thus, Shikhar Dhawan is likely to make his return and lead a second-string squad in the upcoming mega spectacle. However, a full-strength women’s team is expected to travel for the competition.

Notably, cricket was last staged in the 2014 edition of the Asian Games in Incheon. Back then, India refused to participate but things have changed in the last nine years. Meanwhile, the decision of Shikhar Dhawan leading the team in the Asian Games will be taken on July 7 in BCCI’s upcoming Apex Council Meeting. Other than that, the board members will also discuss the ‘policy for retired players for participation in overseas leagues’.

As per the current rule, Indian players are not allowed to participate in foreign leagues but there have been certain cases when the players retired early in order to join teams in other T20 leagues. The latest example of Ambati Rayudu retiring from IPL and joining Texas Super Kings of Major League Cricket is something that the board wants to avoid as they feel that other players may announce premature retirement and repeat the same in the future.

The board members will also have a discussion regarding broadcasting and jersey sponsorship. The team is currently without a TV broadcaster for the home season and BYJU’s leaving prematurely has also hurt them as the Rohit Sharma-led side played in the World Test Championship final without a lead sponsor. 

Playing conditions for the upcoming Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy will also get finalised in the Apex Council Meeting. The Impact Player Rule might get implemented in the upcoming season but thorough discussion will take place before confirming the development.