Ahead of the upcoming ICC World Cup 2023, the mascots for the event were unveiled in an event in Gurugram on Saturday. The event was attended by India U19 ICC World Champions Yash Dhull and Shafali Verma.
Indian team squad for the marquee event is yet to be announced as the BCCI selectors will meet the Indian captain Rohit Sharma and coach Rahul Dravid on August 21 in a meeting in Delhi to confirm the India squads for both Asia Cup and World Cup tournament.
The biggest concern for the Indian team is the middle order as two crucial batters in KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer have not been given the clearance from the NCA, where they are rehabbing after their respective surgeries.
Iyer underwent a back surgery which caused him to miss the entire IPL 2023, while Rahul had to get surgery done after injuring his thigh in the IPL this year.
Since then, both have been at the NCA trying to get to 100% fitness to be considered for the Indian team. Recently, the duo was seen playing in a practice game at the facility while the experts assessed their condition.
Meanwhile, during the mascot unveiling event, India’s U19 World Cup-winning captain Yash Dhull was asked about which player should Indian team pick in case KL Rahul and/or Shreyas Iyer fail to get fit in time for the World Cup.
“Look, that totally depends upon the team management. Maybe Shreyas Iyer or if there is some concern, then maybe Tilak Varma is also a good option,” Dhull was quoted by News18.
Dhull also expressed delight at the comeback of ace pacer Jasprit Bumrah after a long injury layoff.
“No doubts, it was really important for the team that he (Bumrah) makes a comeback,” he said.
On the other hand, Shafali Verma, who led India to the U19 T20 World Cup women’s title early this year, lamented that the team would miss the services of captain Harmanpreet Kaur for the first two matches in the upcoming Asian Games in China.
Harmanpreet Kaur was fined 75% of her match fees and suspended for two matches after her outburst during the third and final ODI against Bangladesh recently. This meant that Smriti Mandhana would lead the side in Harmanpreet’s absence.
“Of course, it’s a big loss for the team that she won’t be playing the first two matches but you have to make the adjustments according to the situation. We would just like to go there and perform,” Shafali Verma said.
“The mascots are really looking cool. The World Cup is in India, so we are very excited for the tournament and I just hope we lift the cup," she said.