Women's T20 World Cup 2023: Pooja Vastrakar ruled out of semi-final fixture, Sneh Rana named replacement

Pooja Vastrakar fell ill and was ruled out due to an upper respiratory tract infection.

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Pooja Vastrakar
Pooja Vastrakar. (Photo Source: RODGER BOSCH/AFP via Getty Images)

The Event Technical Committee of the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2023 has approved Sneh Rana as a replacement for Pooja Vastrakar in the India squad.

Rana, who has played 47 international matches including 24 T20Is, was named as a replacement player after Vastrakar was ruled out due to an upper respiratory tract infection.

The replacement of a player requires the approval of the Event Technical Committee before the replacement player can be officially added to the squad.

The Event Technical Committee of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 consists of Chris Tetley (Chair, ICC Head of Events), Russell Adams (Tournament Director), Snehal Pradhan (ICC Women’s Cricket Manager), Mike Gajjar (Cricket South Africa representative), Ian Bishop and Lisa Sthalekar (both independent).

Vastrakar will remain with the team, although India lacks a suitable alternative. Rana is handy with the bat, can play down the order and bowls off-spin. India may also think about substituting left-arm seamer Anjali Sarvani, who has not played in the competition, for Vastrakar in place of Rana.

Vastrakar was deployed as a bowler in each of the innings' three stages. In four games, her 12.2 overs produced two wickets at an economy of 7.21. Since October 2022, she has been receiving treatment for a knee injury, which prevented her from participating in much of India's World Cup preparation. She had to gain a fitness clearance before the tournament in order to be included.

While Vastrakar has been ruled out, Indian skipper Harmanpreet Kaur's participation is also unlikely. The skipper fell ill on Monday and hasn't completely recovered. The semi-final game against five-time champions Australia is scheduled to be played on November 23, Thursday at 6:30 PM IST. 

In case Harmanpreet fails to recover in time, Smriti Mandhana will lead the Indian side, and the Women in Blue will hope to get an edge over the mighty Australians to as to make it to the summit clash of the global tournament.

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