Board of Control for Cricket in India will release five players to represent in the Asia XI side that will take on World XI in two official T20 International matches to be organised by the Bangladesh Cricket Board on March 18 and 21 next year.
BCCI joint secretary Jayesh Geroge has confirmed the development. However, it is not yet decided which five players will be spared for the two T20Is as South Africa will be in India for a bilateral limited overs series around the same time.
The BCB will be organising the matches as part of celebrations to commemorate the birth centenary of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahaman, Bangladesh’s father of nation. In another major development Pakistan Cricket Board too has confirmed that none of their player will feature in the Asia XI. The PCB has cited the Pakistan Super League schedule for its inability to release the players.
However, the BCCI had maintained that there was no possibility of the Indian and Pakistan cricketers sharing the dressing room. Since the BCB tournament will have no Pakistani players, BCCI had agreed to release five players.
“There were some discussions in this regard during the Pink Ball Test in Kolkata. It looks unlikely that India and Pakistan players will feature in the same Asian XI team. It will depend on Sourav as he will have discussions with the Bangladesh Cricket Board,” George said.
India and Pakistan have not played any bilateral cricket for the past seven years and compete against each other only at the global or continental meets. The relation between BCCI and PCB could turn for worse after Ehsan Mani’s comment that Pakistan is a safer country for touring teams compared to India.
“We have proved Pakistan is safe, if someone isn’t coming then they should prove that it’s unsafe. At this time, India is a far greater security risk than Pakistan,” Mani told reporters in Karachi. “No one should now doubt security arrangements in Pakistan after successful Sri Lanka Test series. This is a turning point for revival of Test cricket in Pakistan. Media and fans played an important role in portraying positive image of Pakistan worldwide,” Mani had said recently.