India defeated Bangladesh by eight wickets in the first semi-final to book a place in the finals to contest for a gold medal. On the other hand, Sri Lanka defeated Pakistan by six wickets in the second semi-final to progress into the finals for a gold medal match against India. Cricket made its return to the 19th edition of the Asian Games after a gap of 9 years. It was last played in the year 2014.
Indian women’s team was contesting for the gold medal against Sri Lanka with an intent to clinch a historic gold medal in their very first appearance in the Asian Games as far as women’s cricket is concerned. The Indian women’s team clinched their maiden gold medal in women’s cricket in their first-ever attempt at the Asian Games by defeating Sri Lanka by 19 runs in a low-scoring encounter, defending their total of 116.
“It would be amazing to have cricket at the Olympics because we would look forward to it as much as a World Cup.” The Indian vice-captain Smriti Mandhana after clinching a historic gold at the Asian Games.
𝐂𝐫𝐢𝐜𝐤𝐞𝐭 𝐚𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐎𝐥𝐲𝐦𝐩𝐢𝐜𝐬?
— Female Cricket (@imfemalecricket) September 26, 2023
“It feels pretty special to contribute to the Indian tally of medals because we don’t get to do that a lot as cricketers. Of course, the Commonwealth Games (Birmingham 2022) were pretty special too. Just being part of the whole Indian contingent just feels different.” Smriti Mandhana on the experience of being able to contribute to the medals tally for the Indian contingent.
The Olympics has always been a major event for many countries, a lot of athletes from different sports participate in global events and compete for bronze, silver, and gold medals in their respective sports. Once upon a time, cricket was also used to be a part of the Olympic games in the year 1900 in Paris. It was the only appearance so far for cricket in the Olympic games. Since then cricket did not find a place in the Olympics. Finally, after 128 years, cricket is all set to make a return to the Olympics in Los Angeles in the year 2028, to end more than a century-long axile.
— Female Cricket (@imfemalecricket) September 25, 2023
Both the men’s and the women’s cricket teams will be sent to the Olympics in Los Angeles, where the cricket-playing nations will compete against each other for the bronze, silver, and gold medals for their country. The game will be played in the T20I format. The eligibility criteria for participating in the tournament will be based on the ICC Women’s World Rankings.
“As cricketers, we watch a lot of Olympic sports and follow all the athletes that win medals for us (India). We could experience that a little today when the national anthem played, which was a special moment because we don’t get to experience that a lot despite being athletes. It would be amazing to have cricket at the Olympics because we would look forward to it as much as a World Cup.” the Indian women’s cricket team vice-captain Smriti Mandhana on the significance of having the inclusion of cricket at the upcoming Olympics in Los Angeles in the year 2028.
(Quotes sourced from The Indian Express).