Kohli, Rashid, Gayle, Du Plessis among players named for Asia XI-World XI series
Virat Kohli is expected to feature in one game for Asia XI, who will take on World XI in a two-match T20 series in Dhaka to commemorate the birth centenary of the country's founding father Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
The two marquee matches are scheduled to take place on March 21 and 22 at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium with the Bangladesh Cricket Board managing to get verbal agreements of several international stars.
Kohli is among the six Indian players named for the tentative Asia XI squad with KL Rahul also available for only one fixture.
“We [BCB] have received four names from India. Though we are yet to sign a contract with them, we are in touch with Rishabh Pant, Kuldeep Yadav, Shikhar Dhawan and Mohammed Shami. Kohli and KL Rahul are likely to play at least one game, but we are yet to finalize that,” BCB chief Nazmul Hassan told media on Tuesday.
The confirmation on Kohli's availability depends on his prioritization of workload management given India's packed schedule ahead of the Indian Premier League slated to begin on March 29.
India's home ODI series against South Africa following the New Zealand tour ends on March 18.
Meanwhile, the Asia XI contingent includes Sandeep Lamichhane from Nepal – the lone representation of an Associate nation in the upcoming series.
“From Afghanistan, we spoke to Mujeeb Ur Rahman and Rashid last [Monday] night, Sandeep Lamichhane from Nepal, along with Malinga and Thisara Perera from Sri Lanka,” Nazmul added.
A total of five Bangladesh cricketers are likely to be involved in the showpiece event.
The World XI side will be led by former South Africa skipper Faf du Plessis with Chris Gayle, Sheldon Cottrell, Nicholas Pooran and Kieron Pollard boasting the Caribbean section of the squad.
Alex Hales, Jonny Bairstow and Adil Rashid also find a place as the BCB is in contact with other players for the exhibition games.
Pakistan players are absent from the unconfirmed line-ups owing to their commitments with the Pakistan Super League though it had emerged that the BCCI had insisted on no presence from the neighbouring nation for the T20s.
Asia XI: Virat Kohli (expected for one game), KL Rahul (expected for one game), Shikhar Dhawan, Rishabh Pant, Mohammed Shami, Kuldeep Yadav, Tamim Iqbal, Liton Das, Musfiqur Rahim, Mustafizur Rahman, Rashid Khan, Mujeeb ur Rahman, Sandeep Lamichhane, Thisara Perera, Lasith Malinga
World XI: Faf du Plessis (c), Alex Hales, Chris Gayle, Nicholas Pooran, Jonny Bairstow, Adil Rashid, Mitchell McClenaghan, Andrew Tye, Sheldon Cottrell, Lungi Ngidi, Kieron Pollard, Brendan Taylor