Indian opening batter Shikhar Dhawan opens up on his exclusion from India’s squad for the Asian Games 2023 and says “a bit shocked” when BCCI announces the men’s squad for the tournament.
Shikhar Dhawan Opens on Missing Asian Games 2023
The 19th Asian Games is scheduled to be held from 23 September to 8 October 2023 in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, China.
Until now India hasn’t been participating in Asian Games. After initially refusing to send squads to Hangzhou Asiad, the board decides to send the Indian team to the Asian Games 2023 after the BCCI Apex Council meeting in Mumbai.
As the dates of the Asian Games 2023 clashes with the ICC World Cup 2023, BCCI decides to send the India B team under Ruturaj Gaikwad to feature in the Asia Games 2023.
As Dhawan is not in plans for World Cup 2023, the left-handed batter is expected to lead the team in Asian Games 2023. But surprisingly, BCCI sidelined the senior batter and named Gaikwad as the captain of the Asian Games 2023 India team.
Speaking on the omission from the Indian team, Dhawan admitted to being shocked but opted to be philosophical about the development.
“When my name was not there, I was a bit shocked. But, then, I was like they have a different thought process, you just have to accept it,” Dhawan told PTI. “Happy that Rutu [Gaikwad] will lead the side. All the young boys are there, I am sure they will do well.”
Notably, Dhawan had chipped in as the temporary captain whenever India fielded a second-string side in recent times. Dhawan who played his last international game in December 2022 against Bangladesh says that the door isn’t entirely shut on him and he is determined to be ready whenever the opportunity presents itself.
“I still enjoy training and the game, these are the things in my control. Whatever decision is made, I respect that. I have not spoken to any selector [about my future]. I keep going to the National Cricket Academy [in Bengaluru]. I enjoy my time there, the facilities are great. NCA has shaped my career and I am grateful for it.”
“At this stage, you go year by year. Physically I am very fit and I have an IPL to win for Punjab Kings. Hopefully, we can do that next year”, he added.
Dhawan has a fantastic record in multi-nation tournaments, having scored 537 runs in 10 innings in the ICC ODI World Cup.
Dhawan holds the record for the highest run-scorer for India in their victorious ICC Champions Trophy 2013. Dhawan averages 44.11 with 17 centuries and 39 half-centuries in 163 ODI innings.
India Squad for Asian Games 2023
Ruturaj Gaikwad, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Rahul Tripathi, Tilak Varma, Rinku Singh, Jitesh Sharma, Washington Sundar, Shahbaz Ahmed, Ravi Bishnoi, Avesh Khan, Arshdeep Singh, Mukesh Kumar, Shivam Mavi, Shivam Dube, Prabhsimran Singh, Yash Thakur, Sai Kishore, Venkatesh Iyer, Deepak Hooda, Sai Sudarsan