Here's the reason why Pakistan players are not named in Asia XI squad to face World XI

There were rumors that the ordinary relation between India and Pakistan at the time was the reason why no Pakistani player was seen in the Asia XI.

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Babar Azam
Babar Azam. (Photo by ASIF HASSAN/AFP/Getty Images)

The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) on Tuesday announced the 15-man Asia XI squad for the two-T20I series against World XI scheduled next month in Dhaka to commemorate the centenary of the nation’s founding father Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

Six Indians were picked in the side, including India captain Virat Kohli, besides four Bangladeshis, two Sri Lankans, two Afghanistanis and one Nepali. No player was picked from Pakistan. However, Kohli’s participation was still not confirmed as India will be just finishing a three-ODI series against South Africa at home around then.

Six Indians named in the Asia XI squad

Among the Indians, ace batsman KL Rahul, wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant, opening batsman Shikhar Dhawan and bowlers Mohammed Shami and Kuldeep Yadav were in the squad. Rahul is scheduled to play one game. The Bangladeshi players included Musfiqur Rahim, Mustafizur Rahim, Tamim Iqbal and Liton Das. Lasith Malinga and Thisara Perera represented Lanka while Rashid Khan and young spinner Mujeeb Ur Rahman were from Afghanistan. Sandeep Lamichhane was the sole Nepali player in the squad.

BCB President Nazmul Hassan made the announcement of the names. He also mentioned that players like Faf du Plessis, Chris Gayle and Jonny Bairstow will feature in the World XI. The supporters of subcontinental cricket were, however, disappointed to see the absence of top Pakistani names like Babar Azam, Shaheen Afridi and others in the Asia XI squad. There were rumors that the ordinary relation between India and Pakistan at the time was the reason why no Pakistani player was seen in the Asia XI.

Why no Pakistani players?

However, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) clarified that it is not the bilateral relation with India but the ongoing Pakistan Super League (PSL) which prevented its players from playing the Bangladesh T20Is. The PSL, which started on February 20, will continue till March 22 around when the Dhaka T20Is are scheduled. The PCB hence denied the BCB’s request to send their players for the series, Times of India 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.

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)

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