The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) have recently revealed the player rosters for their men’s and women’s cricket teams, set to compete in the Hangzhou Asian Games. Given India and Pakistan’s cricketing prowess, experts are speculating that the cricket gold medal at the Asian Games could likely be decided between these two cricket giants.
Moreover, shortly after the Asian Games concludes, the International Olympic Committee will convene a meeting in Mumbai to determine whether cricket, after a 128-year absence, will make a comeback to the “Olympic family.” The cricket matches of this edition of the Asian Games are also being seen by insiders as the ultimate litmus test for cricket’s potential re-entry into the Olympics.
In ensuring the smooth execution of these events, the host city Hangzhou in China is in its final stages of preparation. Officials from Zhejiang University of Technology’s Pingfeng campus cricket venue, where the Asian Games cricket matches are set to unfold, emphasized the critical role of pitch quality. “The key to successful cricket matches lies in the quality of the playing surface. Thus, professional upkeep such as grass trimming and compaction needs to be carried out a month prior to the event. Currently, the Asian Games Organizing Committee has collaborated with the Asian Cricket Council and brought in experts from Bangladesh to oversee the final maintenance,” they shared during a media interview.
The group stage and final matches of the cricket event at the Hangzhou Asian Games are scheduled at Zhejiang University of Technology’s Pingfeng campus. This cricket field stands as China’s largest, with a construction area of approximately 49,400 square meters and a total built-up area of around 12,689 square meters. It boasts an elliptical playing field measuring 150 meters along its longer axis and 120 meters along its shorter axis, accompanied by seating for 1,347 spectators and an all-encompassing pavilion. The indoor pavilion’s brick-red exterior façade complements the surrounding landscape, resembling a picturesque vista naturally unfurling from the northern mountains. The outdoor playing field takes on a boxy circular shape, housing four competition pitches and boasting a playing area roughly equivalent to that of two football fields.
“In meeting the exacting demands of cricket pitches for clay, we embarked on a 13-month-long quest across a vast expanse of 9.6 million square kilometers of land to locate suitable soil sources. After subjecting 27 soil samples to 162 rounds of rigorous testing, we finally pinpointed the most suitable soil source in Liulie Village, Yancheng, Jiangsu,” officials from Zhejiang University of Technology’s Pingfeng campus cricket venue shared during an interview.
Prior to this, Zhejiang University of Technology’s Pingfeng campus cricket arena hosted Asian Games test matches, earning high praise from both the Chinese national team and international participants like Hong Kong and Japan for the quality of the playing field. The spokesperson is confident that following the final month of preparations, the cricket arena will spring forth with delightful surprises for all participating teams.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) confirmed that all-rounder Qasim Akram has been selected to lead the Pakistan Shaheens at the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, China. The T20 format event is scheduled to take place from September 28th to October 7th.