There will be a two-match T20 series between World XI and ASIA XI in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The first match will be on 21 and the second on 22 March. The names of their respective players have been announced.
The series will be played on the occasion of the 100th birth anniversary celebrations of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) President Najmul Hussain announced the names of the players in Dhaka on Tuesday.
6 out of 16 players in ASIA XI are Indians. These include Team India captain Virat Kohli, Shikhar Dhawan, Rishabh Pant, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, and Lokesh Rahul.
Surprisingly, Rohit Sharma and Jasprit Bumrah, who are limited-overs, have not found a place in the team. Among the Indians, Kohli can only be available for one match.
No Pakistan players were included in the team. Nazmul Hassan said that Pakistani players would be busy playing Pakistan Premier League (PSL) during that time. That is why they have not been selected. The final of PSL is to be held on 22 March.
World XI includes Faf du Plessis of South Africa, Chris Gayle of the West Indies, Kieron Pollard and Johnny Bairstow of England. Sheldon Cottrell has been selected.
Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) president Nazmul Hassan spoke to the media and said, “We have already received four names from India. We haven’t signed contracts but Rishabh Pant, Kuldeep Yadav, Shikhar Dhawan, and Mohammed Shami are supposed to come. They have said KL Rahul and Virat Kohli will play one game each, but that hasn’t been finalised.”
ESPNCricinfo quoted Nazmul Hassan as saying, “Players like Rashid Khan and Mujeeb Ur Rahman have finalised with us, from Afghanistan. Nepal’s Sandeep Lamichhane will play while from Sri Lanka, we will have Lasith Malinga and Thisara Perera.”
“From Bangladesh, we will have Tamim Iqbal, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mustafizur Rahman, Mahmudullah and Liton Das.”
“I don’t remember all the names, but we will have three or four players from South Africa. Definitely, there will be the same number of players from the West Indies. Australia and New Zealand will be playing but we will try to find some (players).”
“Bairstow is definitely coming. Ngidi is coming. Chris Gayle is supposed to play. Faf du Plessis. We will have some of the best players around. We are uncertain about Pakistan since the PSL is will be ongoing. We will invite some of the cricketing greats,” added Nazmul Hassan.
The Indian team is currently on a tour of New Zealand. There the team has played five T20 and three ODI series. Now a 2-match Test series is being played between the two. The Indian team lost by 10 wickets in the first Test.
The second Test will be held in Christchurch from 29 February. After New Zealand, India will play a three-ODI series against South Africa from March 12 to 18 at the home ground. After this, the IPL is to be played from March 29.
World XI and ASIA XI Squads
Asia XI: KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, Rishabh Pant, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammad Shami, Thisara Perera, Lasith Malinga, Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Mustafizur Rahman, Tamim Iqbal, Mushfiqur Rahim, Liton Das, Sandeep Lamichhane.
World XI: Alex Hales, Chris Gayle, Faf du Plessis (c), Nicholas Pooran, Brendan Taylor, Jonny Bairstow, Kieron Pollard, Adil Rashid, Sheldon Cottrell, Lungi Ngidi, Andrew Tye, Mitchell McClenaghan.