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Asian Games

Asian Games gives bad advertisement for cricket in rainy Hangzhou

The 4 biggest Asian cricket nations - India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh - have made it to the women's cricket semifinals at the 2023 Asian Games, but only 1 of them made it by winning.

Asian Games gives bad advertisement for cricket in rainy Hangzhou
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Jemimah Rodrigues in action in the washed-out quarterfinal vs Malaysia

By

The Bridge Desk

Updated: 22 Sep 2023 3:27 PM GMT

Four teams - India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh - have made it to the women's cricket semifinals at the 2023 Asian Games in Hangzhou, but only a total of 41.1 overs were bowled across the four quarterfinals out of a possible 160 overs.

With persistent rain belting the venue in China, only one of these four teams - Sri Lanka - have actually won a match so far. They beat Thailand by 8 wickets in a match shortened to 15-overs per side due to rain. All the other three teams, including Bangladesh on Friday, have progressed on the basis of their higher seeding.

Bangladesh captain Nigar Sultana Joty said after the non-match on Friday, "We are not frustrated, the weather is not in our control. We cannot say anything about it. We are looking forward to the semifinal vs India. The same thing happened with India as well, they could not play the whole match, so no team has any advantage."

While Hong Kong, the losing side on Friday, have not raised any official complaints, Indonesia - the side who had their quarterfinal against Pakistan washed out - have said they are trying to lodge an appeal.

“The result should have been no result. However, because Pakistan’s world ranking was higher, it was decided that they were entitled to the semifinals. Of course we are very aggrieved by this decision. We are trying to protest through the NOC," said a statement by the Indonesian cricket federation PCI earlier on Thursday.

The rule to have higher-seeded teams progress in case of a no-result was decided much before the Games and was included in the competition rules sent to the federations long ago. The provision of reserve days, a norm in exclusive cricket events, are difficult to have in a multi-sport tournament because of the number of sports and venues.

Indonesia, Malaysia and Hong Kong, however, have reasons to feel aggrieved that the weather Gods have ended their campaigns.

The rules for the tournament do not change for the semifinals and medal matches either, but according to weather forecasts, there is less than 10% chance of rain on Sunday and Monday.

Cricket's inclusion into multi-sports events remains a thorny issue, with the question of inclusion into the LA Olympics in 2028 having been put on hold for now. The 2023 Asian Games have showed how farcical cricket can become in rainy weather with no reserve days. Fingers crossed that the Chinese weather helps cricket redeem itself when India face Bangladesh in the first semifinal at 6:30 am (IST) on Sunday morning.

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