It could be Virat Kohli versus Faf du Plessis in the Asia XI-World XI two-match T20I series that has been organized by the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) on March 18 and 21 – subject to the India skipper confirming his availability.
The matches will be played to celebrate the 100th anniversary of their founding father Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. The BCB president Nazmul Hassan announced the names of the players in Dhaka on Tuesday, naming Kohli, Rishabh Pant, Mohammed Shami, Rashid Khan and Mushfiqur Rahim among the members of the Asia XI side.
The supporters of subcontinental cricket were, however, disappointed to see the absence of top Pakistan players like Babar Azam, Shoaib Malik and others in the Asia XI squad. There were rumors that the poor relations between India and Pakistan was the reason why no Pakistani player was picked for the Asia XI vs World XI T20I series.
However, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has clarified that it is not the bilateral relation with India but the ongoing Pakistan Super League (PSL) which prevented their players from playing in Bangladesh. The PSL 2020, which started on February 20, will continue till March 22 – till when the World T20Is are scheduled. The PCB hence denied the BCB’s request to send their players for the series, TOI reported.
“The T20Is between World XI and Asia XI were scheduled from March 16-20 (tentative dates), while the PSL 2020 is likely to end on March 22. Since the 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 said earlier.
“It is unfortunate that the facts were twisted to mislead Pakistan cricket fans and followers,” the board added.