Opener Ruturaj Gaikwad will be captaining the Indian team at the Asian Games when they take on Nepal in the quarter-final clash on Tuesday, also marking the first time the men’s cricket team is participating in the multi-sport event.
“Yes, it’s very different. We never ever thought that we will play cricket in China. But is a great opportunity for the entire team because participating in the Asian Games itself is a big opportunity and a matter of great pride for all these players. So, really looking forward to this tournament,” said Laxman in a video posted on bcci.tv, in a chat with reporters.
Other members in the side include Yashasvi Jaiswal, Shivam Dube, Tilak Varma, Ravi Bishnoi, Shahbaz Ahmed, Arshdeep Singh, Mukesh Kumar, Avesh Khan, Rinku Singh, Jitesh Sharma, Prabhsimran Singh, Washington Sundar and Rahul Tripathi.
The matches will be held at the Zhejiang University of Technology Pingfeng Cricket Field in Hangzhou, China, where the Indian women’s team had won the gold medal in initial days of the competition.
“The organisers have made a decent infrastructure and I hope there will be support for us once we start playing the matches. When the women’s team played here, they got a lot of support, realised their potential and won the gold. So, we are also expecting the same when we start playing out games tomorrow,” added Laxman, the NCA head.
Asked about the nature of pitch and the possible playing eleven, Laxman, a legendary mainstay with the bat in the Indian Test side, said, “Unfortunately, we didn’t get to see the wicket as matches have been going on and hopefully, this afternoon, we get to see what wicket we play on. Based on that, we will come up with our strategies."
Laxman signed off by hoping that cricket gets included in the Olympics, something which could become a possibility during 2028 Los Angeles Olympics, and is still under consideration.
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“T20 is an ideal format to be part of the Olympics. Hoping that in the near future, cricket will become a part of the Olympics and all the cricketers will get an opportunity to represent the country and win medals for country in the Olympics.”