Dhaka, Feb 25: The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) has announced the Asia XI squad that will play two T20 Internationals against World XI in Dhaka on March 21 and 22. Putting an end to the speculations, the BCCI has allowed as many as six players to participate in the event.
India captain Virat Kohli and his teammates KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Rishabh Pant, Mohammed Shami and Kuldeep Yadav find themselves in the Asia XI squad. Rahul will be available for one game while Kohli's availability is subject to confirmation.
BCB is hosting the two-match series to celebrate the birth centenary of country's founder Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
"We have already received four names from India," Bangladesh Cricket Board President Nazmul Hassan was quoted as saying by 'ESPNCricinfo'. "We haven't signed contracts but Rishabh Pant, Kuldeep Yadav, Shikhar Dhawan and Mohammed Shami are supposed to come. They have said KL Rahul and Virat Kohli will play one game each, but that hasn't been finalised," he added.
BCB wants Kohli to be a part of both the T20 Internationals but considering the hectic schedule of the Indian team, it remains to be seen if the maestro makes himself available.
"Kohli's name has been sent but the call on his participation lies with him and he will take it after due consultation with BCCI President Sourav Ganguly," a BCCI source was quoted by PTI.
Afghanistan star spinners Rashid Khan and Mujeer Ur Rahman will represent Asia XI while Nepal's leg-spinner Sandeep Lamichhane also made it to the squad. Thisara Perera and Lasith Malinga are the players from Sri Lanka. No Pakistani player is present in the squad as the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) didn't allow any of their players to participate in the event.
Tamim Iqbal, Liton Das, Mushfiqur Rahim, and Mustafizur Rahman are Bangladeshi players who will feature in the squad.
Here's the complete Asia XI team: KL Rahul*, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli*, Rishabh Pant, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Thisara Perera, Lasith Malinga, Rashid Khan, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Mustafizur Rahman, Tamim Iqbal, Mushfiqur Rahim, Liton Das, Sandeep Lamichhane, Mahmudullah.
The World XI side for the two-matches has also been announced and former South Africa captain Faf du Plessis will lead it. Apart from SA, the World XI squad comprises players from England, New Zealand and West Indies. No Australian player is in the squad.
Here's the complete World XI team: Alex Hales, Chris Gayle, Faf du Plessis, Nicholas Pooran, Brendan Taylor, Jonny Bairstow, Kieron Pollard, Sheldon Cottrell, Lungi Ngidi, Andrew Tye, Mitchell McClenaghan.