Reason behind Pakistan players’ absence from Asia XI squad
The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) has announced the Asia XI and World XI squads for the two-match T20I series in March as part of the nationwide celebrations to mark the birth centenary of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, Bangladesh’s Father of the Nation.
In the matches that are likely to be given official status by the International Cricket Council (ICC), six Indians are likely to participate. The Indian players are: KL Rahul, Virat Kohli, Shikhar Dhawan, Rishabh Pant, Mohammed Shami and Kuldeep Yadav.
But the surprising thing is, there will not be any representatives from Pakistan. While some may assume it is due to Pakistan’s bilateral relation with India, Pakistan’s leading newspaper Dawn reported that the main reason is something completely different. As per their report, the Pakistani players will be unavailable due to their Pakistan Super League (PSL) duties.
“The T20Is between World XI and Asia XI were scheduled from March 16-20 (now changed), while the HBL 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 was quoted as saying at the end of last year.
Earlier Jayesh George, the Joint Secretary of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) had claimed that Pakistan players would not be playing in the Asia XI, for the message is that there will be no Pakistan players invited at all.
“It is unfortunate that the facts were twisted to mislead Pakistan cricket fans and followers,” the PCB spokesperson had added to counter the BCCI information.
Meanwhile BCB president Nazmul Hasan Papon showed the same reason on Tuesday in a press conference that the squads didn’t include any Pakistan players because they would be busy with the PSL, with the tournament final scheduled on March 22.
The two T20Is will be played on March 21 and 22 at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Dhaka.
Probable Asia XI – KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Tamim Iqbal, Virat Kohli, Liton Das, Rishabh Pant, Mushfiqur Rahim, Thisara Perera, Rashid Khan, Mustafizur Rahman, Sandeep Lamichhane, Lasith Malinga, Mohammad Shami, Kuldeep Yadav, Mujeeb Ur Rahman.
Probable World XI – Kieron Pollard, Nicholas Pooran, Sheldon Cottrell, Chris Gayle, Brendan Taylor, Adil Rashid, Alex Hales, Faf du Plessis, Lungi Ngidi, Andrew Tye, Mitchel McClenaghan