VVS Laxman and Hrishikesh Kanitkar Named Coaches for India’s Cricket Teams at Asian Games 2023

VVS Laxman and Hrishikesh Kanitkar Named Coaches for India’s Cricket Teams at Asian Games 2023

Former Indian cricket players VVS Laxman and Hrishikesh Kanitkar have been appointed as the head coaches for the Indian men’s and women’s cricket teams, respectively, at the 2023 Asian Games in Hangzhou, China.

Laxman, who currently leads the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru, will coach the 15-member men’s team, with Ruturaj Gaikwad as the captain. VVS Laxman, a 48-year-old former cricketer, previously coached the senior Indian men’s cricket team during a tour of Ireland last month when the full-time head coach Rahul Dravid was unavailable.

Laxman had a successful playing career, amassing 8,781 runs in 134 Test matches and 2,338 runs in 86 ODIs.

Sairaj Bahutule, a former Indian leg-spinner, will be the bowling coach for the Indian men’s cricket team in Hangzhou.

The Indian cricket board (BCCI) has formed a second-string team for the Hangzhou Games, as the senior side will be participating in the ICC Men’s ODI Cricket World Cup 2023, scheduled from October 5 to November 19 in India.

The cricket matches at the 19th Asian Games will be held from September 19 to October 7 at the Pingfeng Campus Cricket Field in Hangzhou.

On the other hand, Hrishikesh Kanitkar will serve as the head coach for the 15-member women’s cricket team, with Smriti Mandhana as the captain. Kanitkar, a 48-year-old former cricketer, led the Indian women’s cricket team to the semi-finals of the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup earlier this year. In his international playing career, he scored 339 runs and took 17 wickets in 34 ODI matches, along with playing two Tests for India and accumulating 74 runs.

The Indian men’s cricket team will begin their Asian Games journey in the quarter-finals on October 3, with the semi-finals and gold medal match scheduled for October 6 and 7, respectively.

The Indian women’s cricket team will start their competition from the quarter-finals, commencing on September 21. The semi-finals and the gold medal match are slated for September 24 and 25, respectively.

It’s worth mentioning that this will be the debut appearance of Indian cricket teams at the Asian Games. Cricket was first introduced at the 2010 Guangzhou Games and was retained as a medal sport for the 2014 Incheon Games, both of which India had skipped. The sport was excluded from the 2018 Jakarta Games but is making a comeback in Hangzhou.

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