The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) is still optimistic about organizing T20 matches between World XI and Asia XI as the birth centenary celebrations of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman was extended till December this year.
As part of the celebration of the birth centenary of Bangabandhu, two T20 matches between World XI and Asia XI were scheduled to be played at the Sher- e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Mirpur on March 21 and 23 last year. And for this purpose, the list of players was almost finalized by the BCB with some renowned current cricketing starts giving their consent to play the matches. But the outbreak of Covid-19, the deadly virus that left the whole world stranded last year, the BCB forced to put the matches on hold.
As the global transmission rate of the virus has not yet reached a satisfactory level and not even in Bangladesh, the BCB didn't make any attempt to organize those matches.
Although the infection decreased a bit a couple of months ago, it has recently increased again. However, Nazmul Hasan Papon, president of the BCB, is not giving up.
He said BCB is ready to host two matches as soon as the infection subsides since the birth centenary celebrations have been extended to December this year.
He made the remarks while addressing a function to distribute food among the vulnerable people on the 101st birthday of the Father of the Nation at the Home of Cricket Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Mirpur today.
"The celebration of the birth centenary of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman has been extended to December. So there is a possibility of hosting the tournament. But we have to keep in mind that the Covid-19 situation is getting worse. But definitely, we are looking to arrange the series as soon as possible," Papon said.
Papon also talked about the upcoming home series that may be in danger due to the sudden surge of Covid-19 in the country.
"I don't think the upcoming home series are in danger. Because we have done it before and I think within one month we'll be able to control the spread but the people must cooperate," he concluded.
Last year, almost everything, including the dates of the two matches, was finalized. Shikhar Dhawan, Rishabh Pant, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammad Shami, Thisara Perera, Lasith Malinga, Rashid Khan, Mustafizur Rahman, Tamim Iqbal, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mahmudullah Riyad and Liton Das were to play in the Asia XI. KL Rahul and Virat Kohli were supposed to play one match each.
Kieron Pollard, Nicholas Puran, Sheldon Cottrell, Chris Gayle, Brendon Taylor, Johnny Bairstow, Adil Rashid, Alex Hales, Faf du Plessis, Lungi Ngidi, Andrew Tie, Mitchell McLennan were all in the World XI.