BCCI president Sourav Ganguly has sent the names of Indian captain Virat Kohli, Mohammed Shami, Shikhar Dhawan and Kuldeep Yadav to the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) for the Asia XI vs World XI matches.
The games will be played at the Sher-e-Bangla Stadium in Dhaka to commemorate the 100th anniversary of their founding father Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
Per a BCCI source, Ganguly sent the final list of players to the BCB after checking their availability. The list was sent a while back since the BCB had to press on with their efforts of preparing the Asian squad.
"Ganguly sent in the names to the BCB after we checked on the availability of the players. Kohli, Shami, Dhawan and Kuldeep will represent us in the Asia XI team. It has been a while since we sent the names because the Bangladesh board needed the list from BCCI to be able to prepare the Asian squad," the source said.
The matches are slated to be held on 18th and 21st of March and will see several international stars take on the best cricketers from the subcontinent.
There were doubts about how the core of the Asia XI would stack up considering that Pakistan are an important part of the cricketing scene in the subcontinent, but don’t have the best of relations with India. However, things became clearer once BCCI joint secretary Jayesh George confirmed that Pakistani players weren’t invited.
"What we are aware of is that there will be no Pakistan players in the Asia XI. That is what the message is, so, there is no question of both countries coming together or picking one over the other," he had said.
However, a statement from the PCB later clarified that Pakistani players weren’t snubbed by the BCB in favour of Indian players – it simply boiled down to Pakistani cricketers being unavailable due to their involvement in the PSL.
"The T20Is between World XI and Asia XI were scheduled from March 16-20, while the PSL 2020 is likely to end on March 22. Since 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 said.
"It is unfortunate that the facts were twisted to mislead Pakistan cricket fans and followers."