The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) is set to celebrate the birth centenary of 'Bongobondhu' Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the founder of Bangladesh, by hosting two T20 matches in March between the Asia XI and the World XI. While the ICC is said to have given the games official status, looking at the current situation between India and Pakistan, one would think that it will come to either India or Pakistan players when it comes to filling the XI names in the Asia XI team sheet.
But BCB President Nazmul Hassan has said that Pakistan players might not come because the schedule of the commemorative match clashing with the Pakistan Super League's (PSL) date.
The BCB President said that nothing has been discussed regarding the unavailability of Pakistani players. But he said that they might not arrive because the PSL will be going on at that time.
"We have discussed with all the boards regarding this match and they, in reply, have sent a response. Pakistan were the only country that asked to change the date because it clashes with the Pakistan Super League (PSL). We replied to them that it cannot be changed because 17th March is the birthday of Bangabandhu SHeikh Mujibur Rahman and the government has given us the time span from 18th to 22nd March. Because the government has other plans regarding this occasion. We have this slot and we cannot change it. They (Pakistan) have not responded to that yet. The reason behind Pakistani players not coming might be because of the schedule colliding with the PSL," Nazmul said.
Earlier, BCCI Joint Secretary Jayesh George said that no Pakistani players will be invited to the commemorative match.
Speaking to IANS, BCCI Joint Secretary Jayesh George though has made it clear that such a scenario where both India and Pakistan players play in the Asia XI wouldn't arise because the message is that there will be no Pakistan players 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. Sourav Ganguly will decide the five players who will be a part of the Asia XI," he said.
Things have gone from bad to worse in recent times with Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief Ehsan Mani looking to take a dig at the Indian government and saying that the security situation in India is worse than in Pakistan and teams should ideally be happy to play in Pakistan.
"We have proved Pakistan is safe, if someone isn't coming then they should prove that it's unsafe. At this time, India is a far greater security risk than Pakistan.
"No one should now doubt security arrangements in Pakistan after successful Sri Lanka Test series. This is a turning point for the revival of Test cricket in Pakistan. Media and fans played an important role in portraying positive image of Pakistan worldwide," Mani had said.
In fact, former Pakistan skipper Rashid Latif took the battle further when he dismissed BCCI President Sourav Ganguly's idea of a 4-nation series, calling it a "flop" plan.
"By playing such a series, these four countries want to isolate the other member nations, which is not good news. But I think this will be a flop idea like the Big Three model, which was introduced a few years back," Latif said in a YouTube video.
Clearly these things will be kept in mind when Ganguly does sit with his team to decide on the plan of sending players for the BCB organised matches.