‘We never said that Pakistan players can’t be there’

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The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) is set to celebrate the birth centenary of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the father of the nation, by hosting two T20 matches in March between the Asia XI and the World XI. Initial plans were for the Asia XI to have players from all the Asian countries including Pakistan. BCB president Nazmul Hassan informed that the BCB reached out to the PCB but were told that the PSL (Pakistan Super League) clashed with the dates of the T20 matches of Asia XI and World XI.

Indian media IANS today quoted BCCI Joint Secretary Jayesh George as saying that India were under the impression that no Pakistan players will be playing in the Asia XI. “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,” Jayesh told IANS.

The BCB president however confirmed that there was no such process going on not to involve Pakistan players. “I haven’t told them [BCCI] anything like that. It’s going to be Asia vs Rest of the World. The thing is that the players who are available will play,” he said during a press conference today.

“We never said that Pakistan players can’t be there. When we communicated with the boards, Pakistan were the only country which said that the time clashed with the PSL. They asked for the date to be shifted but we informed them that the date can’t be shifted since his [Bangabandhu] birthday is on the 17th of March and the time we have been allocated for the matches by the government is from 18th to 22 [March]. PCB did not respond as of yet but maybe because the dates clashed with PSL, Pakistan players maybe unavailable,” he said.

 

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