The Bangladesh Cricket Board has announced a star-studded Asia XI squad slated to take on ICC’s World XI in Dhaka. The two T20Is are scheduled for 18th and 21st March to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Bangladesh’s founding father Sheikh Majibur Rahman. Indian skipper Virat Kohli has been named in the squad along with 5 other Indians. Another issue which is sure to grab the headlines is the non-inclusion of Pakistani players.
The other Indians apart from Kohli in the squad are KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Rishabh Pant, Mohammed Shami and Kuldeep Yadav. Rahul will only feature in one of the two matches. Kohli’s availability for the matches is also subject to confirmation.
A star-studded affair
4 Bangladeshi players feature in the squad – Tamim Iqbal, Liton Das, Mushfiqur Rahim and Mustafizur Rahman. Pacer Lasith Malinga and all-rounder Thisara Perera are the two Sri Lankans in the squad. The spin duo of Rashid Khan and Mujeeb ur Rahman represent the Afghani contingent. Meanwhile, young leggie Sandeep Lamichhane is the only Nepali in the squad.
The exclusion of Pakistani players will certainly generate some fair amount of controversy. Pakistan are the top-ranked T20I side in the world and boast some of the best performers in their ranks. Their T20I skipper Babar Azam is widely regarded as one of the best batters in the world and is ranked No.1 in the T20I batting charts.
Both the matches will be played at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Mirpur, Dhaka.
Gayle, Taylor headline World XI squad
Soon after BCB’s announcement, a 12-member World XI squad was also announced. The squad will be lead by former Proteas skipper Faf du Plessis. Other star names include Chris Gayle, Alex Hales, Jonny Bairstow and Ross Taylor. Tom Moody will coach the side.
Asia XI squad: KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Tamim Iqbal, Liton Das, Virat Kohli, Rishabh Pant, Mushfiqur Rahim, Thisara Perera, Rashid Khan, Mustafizur Rahman, Sandeep Lamichhane, Lasith Malinga, Mohammed Shami, Kuldeep Yadav, Mujeeb ur Rahman
World XI squad: Alex Hales, Chris Gayle, Faf du Plessis (c), Nicholas Pooran, Jonny Bairstow, Ross Taylor, Kieron Pollard, Adil Rashid, Sheldon Cottrell, Lungi Ngidi, Andrew Tye, Mitchell McClenaghan