The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB), on Tuesday, announced the squad for Asia XI for the two T20I games against World XI. Bangladesh will host the T20Is to celebrate the 100th birthday of their Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
Virat Kohli’s name highlight the star-studded side with the India skipper being likely to be available for one match. The world number one Test and ODI batsman is among six Indian players named in the Asia XI. Along with Kohli, KL Rahul is also slated for a one-match appearance.
Shikhar Dhawan, Rishabh Pant, Kuldeep Yadav and Mohammed Shami have been included for all the matches. Bangladesh Cricket Board president Nazmul Hassan announced the names of the players. He also said that Faf du Plessis, Chris Gayle, Rashid Khan and Jonny Bairstow are among those who will play for the World XI side.
Reason of Pakistan players’ absence:
While the BCB announced a strong squad for the Asia XI, there was not a single name from Pakistan. The fans will not see the likes of Babar Azam, Shaheen Afridi, Shadab Khan and other big names from Pakistan in the much-anticipated series. There are murmurs that the poor bilateral relation between India and Pakistan is the reason behind the Pakistani players’ absence from the Asia XI squad.
Well, the reason is different. Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) could not send any of their players for the series between Asia XI and World XI because of the Pakistan Super League (PSL). The ongoing edition of the PSL will end on March 22, one day after the second T20I between Asia XI and World XI and thus the PCB denied BCB’s request to send their players for the series.
“The T20Is between World XI and Asia XI were scheduled from March 16-20, while the PSL 2020 is likely to end on March 22. Since dates of both the series couldn’t be changed, we offered our regrets to the BCB, both verbally and in writing, which they understood and accepted,” a PCB spokesperson had previously said. “It is unfortunate that the facts were twisted to mislead Pakistan cricket fans and followers.”
Asia XI Squad:
KL Rahul (one game), Virat Kohli (TBD), Shikhar Dhawan, Rishabh Pant, Mohd. Shami, Kuldeep Yadav, Liton Das, T Iqbal, Mushfiqur Rahim, T Perera, Rashid Khan, Mustafizur Rahman, Sandeep Lamichhane, Lasith Malinga, Mujeeb Ur Rehman. (Virat Kohli’s selection subject to confirmation)