New Delhi, Dec 26: Indian and Pakistani cricket fans' desire to watch the cricketers from the two rival nations playing together in Asia XI side came a cropper.
Bangladesh will be hosting a couple of T20 matches between Asia XI and World XI in the month of March to celebrate the birth centenary of 'Bongobondhu' Sheikh Mujibur Rahman- the neighbouring country's father of the nation. The International Cricket Council (ICC) has already given international status to the matches.
Ever since the news of an Asia XI vs World XI match came to light, fans from India and Pakistan were thrilled about watching the top cricketers from the two rival nations rubbing shoulders with each other and sporting a common jersey on the cricket pitch but as per reports, none of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) players has reportedly been invited.
BCCI Joint Secretary Jayesh George told the news agency that no Pakistan players will be a part of this series while as many as 5 Indian names will be seen in the Asia XI squad.
"There were some discussions in this regard during the Pink Ball Test in Kolkata. It looks unlikely that India and Pakistan players will feature in the same Asian XI team. It will depend on Sourav as he will have discussions with the Bangladesh Cricket Board," BCCI joint secretary Jayesh George told PTI.
Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) is playing host to the matches and they have requested the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCC) to allow India's top seven cricketers to play in the matches. Besides Dhoni, the BCB has asked BCCI to release Hardik Pandya, Jasprit Bumrah, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Ravindra Jadeja and Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
The T20 matches will be held on March 18 and 21 in Dhaka, a time when South Africa will be in India for an ODI series, the third match of which is clashing with the first Asia XI match.
India and Pakistan have not played any bilateral cricket for the past seven years and compete against each other only at the global or continental meets.
The relation between BCCI and PCB could turn for worse after Ehsan Mani's comment that Pakistan is a safer country for touring teams compared to India.
"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," Mani told reporters in Karachi.
"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 a positive image of Pakistan worldwide," Mani had said recently.