The sixth edition of Women’s Asia Cup 2016 gets underway on 27th November in Thailand. The tournament will be played in T20 format unlike first 4 editions when it was played in ODI format. This time around 6 teams will be participating in Asia Cup viz. India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, and hosts Thailand.
It all started in 2004 with a 5-match ODI series between India and Sri Lanka when India whitewashed Sri Lanka 5-0. In the second edition in December 2005, Pakistan joined and the tournament was hosted in Karachi. However, that did not make any difference to the result as India again beat Sri Lanka in the final winning successive titles. The third edition was played in India in December 2006 and again hosts India beat SL by 8 wickets in the final. The fourth Edition was played in Sri Lanka in 2008. This was the last time that Asia Cup was played in a 50-over format. Again India beat Sri Lanka in the final. The 2012 edition was played in China. It was the first time the Tournament was played in T20 format. This time around India beat Pakistan in the final by 19 runs, just for a change!
This is the 6th edition of the tournament and India have won all 5 titles so far. The squads are as follows:
There’s is no doubt they walk into the tournament as favorites. Things have not been going well for Indian women off late in T20 format. The series win against Southern Stars down under was high, but after that, it has pretty much gone downhill from there. The World T20 debacle followed by another tame performance and whitewash against West Indies at home. Newly appointed Skipper Harmanpreet Kaur was brilliant with the bat and led from the front but got little support from her teammates. India has rich experience in Mithali Raj, Jhulan Goswami and Harmanpreet Kaur and some young players to watch out for.
Squad: Harmanpreet Kaur (Captain), Ekta Bisht, Jhulan Goswami, Mansi Joshi, Veda Krishnamurthy, Smriti Mandhana, Meghna Singh, Shikha Pandey, Anuja Patil, Poonam Yadav, Nuzhat Parween, Preeti Bose, Mithali Raj, Vellaswamy Vanitha, Sushma Verma.
If there is one team that can beat India in the tournament then that is Pakistan. In fact, Pakistan got better off India in T20WC at Delhi earlier this year. Like India, they too have had a lean patch off late. They got whitewashed in England in 3-T20I series in July. Recently they lost to New Zealand in Nelson by 14 runs.
They have a new captain in form of Bismah Maroof after the experienced Sana Mir stepped down from captaincy. The mouth watering Indo-Pak encounter is scheduled on 29 November.
Squad: Bismah Maroof (Captain), Javeria Khan, Aliya Riaz, Anam Amin, Asmavia Iqbal, Ayesha Zafar, Diana Baig, Iram Javed, Maham Tariq, Nahida Khan, Nain Abidi, Nida Dar, Sadia Yousuf, Sana Mir, Sidra Nawaz.
Sri Lanka, the runners up first 4 editions have also gone through a rough patch. They have seen a lot of changes in captaincy throughout the year. Their Skipper for T20WC Shashikala Siriwardana has been out with an injury. They had Chamari Atapattu to lead against Australia in September, then Inoka Ranweera as captain against England. Now they have Hasini Perara to lead in Asia Cup. Their recent T20 performances haven’t been great. They could not qualify for T20 WC semi-final and against Australia, they could manage only 59/8.
Also Read : Is India Women Cricket Team a ‘Soft Target’ by ICC or has been victimized by their own board?
Squad: Hasini Perera (Captain), Prasadani Weerakkody, Chamari Atapattu, Sripali Weerakkody, Sugandika Kumari, Dilani Manodara, Nilakshi de Silva, Nipuni Hansika, Inoka Ranaweera, Oshadi Ranasinghe, Eshani Lokusuriyage, Yasoda Mendis, Hansima Karunaratne, Ama Kanchana, Udeshika Prabodhani
Bangladesh’s recent performances in the shortest format have been a concern. On their tour to Ireland they failed to chase a meager 55 in a rain curtailed affair. Their batting has also failed to click in T20WC.
They have appointed Rumana Ahmed as their skipper. They would hope a change in captaincy would bring change in fortunes
Squad: Jahanara Alam, Rumana Ahmed (Captain), Panna Ghosh, Nahida Akter, Nigar Sultana, Suraiya Azmin, Fargana Hoque, Sanjida Islam, Khadija Tul Kubra, Salma Khatun, Fahima Khatun, Ritu Moni, Shaila Sharmin, Ayasha Rahman, Sharmin Sultana.
Thailand have been a dominating force in ACC circuit, qualifying for T20 qualifiers in 2013 and 2015. This Asia Cup gives them an opportunity to express themselves against good teams at their home as they have nothing to lose.
Squad: Sornnarin Tippoch (Captain), Nattaya Boochatham, Rattana Sangsoma, Naruemol Chaiwai, Suleeporn Laomi, Nattakan Chantam, Sirintra Saengsakaorat, Chanida Sutthiruang, Sainammin Saenya, Soraya Lateh, Wongpaka Liengprasert, Nannapat Khoncharoenkai, Ratanaporn Padunglerd
Like hosts Thailand, Nepal also have nothing to lose. They will be looking to get some good match practice before Women’s world cup in Sri Lanka in February 2017 and if they can pull off an upset or two that will only do good to their confidence.
Squad: Rubina Chhetry Belbashi, Jyoti Pandey, Kajal Shrestha, Karuna Bhandari, Nary Thapa, Neera Rajopadhyay, Rashmi Chaulagain, Bohara Roshani, Sabnam Rai, Saraswati Kumari, Sarita Magar, Sita Rana Magar.
(All matches to be played at Terdthai Cricket Ground, Bangkok)
India vs Bangladesh and Pakistan vs Nepal
India vs Thailand and Pakistan vs Sri Lanka
Thailand vs Bangladesh and Nepal vs Sri Lanka
India vs Pakistan and Nepal vs Bangladesh
Bangladesh vs Pakistan and Thailand vs Sri Lanka
Thailand vs Nepal and India Vs Sri Lanka
India vs Nepal
Bangladesh vs Sri Lanka and Pakistan vs Thailand
4 December Final