BCCI likely to send second-string India team for Asia Cup 2021

BCCI likely to send second-string India team for Asia Cup 2021

Asia Cup is likely to take place in Sri Lanka this year.

IPL Governing Council Meeting
Board of Control for Cricket in India. (Photo by Aniruddha Chowhdury/Mint via Getty Images)

There is absolutely no clarity about the Asia Cup that is expected to be played later this year. The tournament was originally scheduled to be played last year before it was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While the schedule for the competition is not out yet, it is expected to be played in late June in Sri Lanka.

Recently, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ehsan Mani had claimed that Asia Cup 2021 might get postponed to 2023 if India qualify for the final of the World Test Championship (WTC). And while India have qualified for the final, the chances of Asia Cup getting postponed are highly unlikely. India and New Zealand will play the final from June 18 to 22 while the Asia Cup looks likely to begin in the last week of the same month.

India unlikely to send full-strength squad

The BCCI is reportedly set to send a second string Indian team to Sri Lanka for the Asia Cup due to the team’s busy schedule. India are scheduled to tour England for a five-Test series and the players will likely stay back in the United Kingdom after the WTC final. After the tour of England, India will host the T20 World Cup and the BCCI are unlikely to send the main players for the Asia Cup, according to a report in the Times of India.

“There’s no other choice. We can’t risk the preparation for the series in England. And cricketers can’t twice undergo quarantine. If the Asia Cup happens, India will have no option but to send a second-string squad,” top sources told the news outlet.

A second-string side means the team will be without the likes of Virat Kohli, Rishabh Pant, Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami and other names. Meanwhile, India have won the last two editions of the tournament and will be eyeing a hat-trick this year. They won the 2016 edition which was played in the T20 format before winning it again in 2018 which was played in the ODI format. India are also the most successful team in the history of the competition with seven titles to their name.