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Uncertainty over Pakistan players’ participation in Asia XI vs World XI fixture in Ahmedabad

The third match of the three-match series will take place in Ahmedabad in March next year.

Motera Stadium
Motera Stadium. (Photo Source: Twitter)

In an absolute visual treat to the fans, three T20 matches between Asia XI and World XI will be held in March next year. While two of those games will be hosted by Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) in Dhaka, the remaining one will be played in Ahmedabad. Both the respective boards will be approaching the ICC anytime soon in a bid to get the international status for the high-profile games.

It should be noted that the series, originally devised by the BCB in order to commemorate the birth centenary of Bangladesh’s first Prime Minister Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, was actually supposed to feature players from Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Afghanistan and elsewhere. But with the BCCI now sketching a plan to host one match in Ahmedabad’s new stadium, there has been absolutely no clarity over Pakistan players’ participation.

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Ahmedabad’s under-construction stadium is in the finishing stage and will be ready by February 2020. The stadium is all set to become the biggest in the world as far as the seating capacity is concerned. Meanwhile, the Gujarat Cricket Association wants to make the occasion a special one by hosting an Asia XI vs World XI fixture.

Pakistan players unlikely to fly to India

As per the reports, BCB has already reached out to the PCB to allow Pakistani players feature in the series. But the scenario of inviting Pakistan to India will be a complicated affair. According to the New Indian Express, the possibility of Pakistani players flying to Ahmedabad is unlikely. As things stand, BCCI is yet to decide whether to take this issue to the Indian government.

“Since the BCCI will be hosting the third match, there is no need to have continuity. Since India would have completed the ODIs against South Africa, the initial plan was to send five players to Bangladesh depending upon workload. For the match in Ahmedabad, we can make changes, but the understanding is the core of Asia XI and World XI remains the same,” an official said.

There is also no clarity with regards to whether the Ahmedabad T20 will be part of the centenary celebrations. “The BCB wants it to be a three-match series including the one in Ahmedabad. We have to see how we go about it since GCA wants to make it their occasion. Things will get clear in the coming weeks. The schedule has to be worked out because there is a clash. But luckily, the ODI is in Kolkata and players won’t take much time to reach Dhaka,” the official added.

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