New Delhi, Feb 22: The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has reportedly decided to send Virat Kohli, Mohammad Shami, Shikhar Dhawan, and Kuldeep Yadav to be part of the Asia XI against World XI match scheduled in Dhaka.
Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) will be organising two T20 Internationals in Dhaka between March 18 to 22, to celebrate the birth centenary of country's founder Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. The BCB had requested to the BCCI to send its top players for the event.
As per a report, BCCI president Sourav Ganguly has approved the names of Virat Kohli, Mohammad Shami, Shikhar Dhawan, and Kuldeep Yadav to participate in the two games for Asia XI side. Kohli will be leading the Asia XI side.
Sources were quoted by media reports as saying, "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."
This would also mean that Team India will be playing with a young squad against South Africa in the ODI series. Rohit Sharma - who missed the ODI and Test series in New Zealand due to hamstring injury - will be fit by then and in all probability lead the Indian side.
Earlier, there was uncertainty over involvement of Pakistani players in the Asia XI; however, BCCI joint secretary Jayesh George made sure that no Pakistan cricketers were invited for the match.
Jayesh said, "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."
BCB CEO Nizamuddin Chowdhury said that teams are yet to be confirmed for the two games but the matches will be held in the March 18-22 window.
"We are still working on the scheduling and the players' availability for the games and will make the announcement soon. What I can say is that the games will be played between March 18-22 and we are in constant touch with the BCCI over the availability of the Indian players," Chowdhury told PTI without referring to Kohli's name.
Asked about the Indian players' availability for the matches, BCCI president Sourav Ganguly, who was at the Board headquarters in Mumbai on Friday, said: "We have not yet finalised the names. We can send four to five players." However, a BCCI official revealed that the issue was discussed in the Apex Council meeting on Sunday with BCB wanting Kohli to play in the matches.
"BCB wants Kohli to play in the matches and it is understandable considering he is the best player in the world. Also, they want all India regulars for the game.
"Since there is a plan that the series will be extended to Ahmedabad, where the third game is proposed at the renovated stadium, the Board is considering BCB's request," the official said.