ICC Asked To Approve Asia XI v World XI T20 Match
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has requested the International Cricket Council (ICC) for approval to host an Asia XI v World XI T20 match. It would inaugurate the opening of the new Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Stadium in Gujarat.
Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Stadium Could Host Asia XI v World XI T20
Gujarat Cricket Association decided to demolish the old Motera stadium and invest. Close to 700 crore rupees has been pumped in to construct the biggest cricketing stadium in India. Rumours suggest that the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel Stadium could turn out to be the biggest in the world. In terms of capacity, it will be able to hold up to 1,10,000 people. This would surpass the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).
Populous, the Australian firm that designed the MCG, are the principal designers for the new stadium. It should be ready to host its first match in early 2020. BCCI President Sourav Ganguly wants to have a huge inauguration to showcase the stadium. And he wants to do it in style!
There are reports that the Bangladesh Cricket Board and the BCCI are requesting a 3-match Asia XI v World XI T20 series in which the first two matches will take place in Bangladesh. The third and final T20 will take place in the new stadium. The ICC is yet to make an approval. However, given BCCI’s clout and Ganguly’s influence, it could just be a matter of time. The tentative timeline for this exciting series is March 2020.
No Players From Pakistan
The ongoing tensions between the countries mean that it is unlikely that any Pakistani player will be part of the Asia XI squad. The Indian government and the BCCI have taken a tough stance in recent years to not have any involvement with the Pakistan Cricket Board – which is why no players from Pakistan play the Indian Premier League (IPL).
Potential Asia XI Squad
Most of the players will be from India and Bangladesh with a few players from Sri Lanka and Afghanistan making the squad. The list of 15 players who are likely to make the cut include Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, Mushfiqur Rahim, Angelo Matthews, MS Dhoni, Hardik Pandya, Thisara Perera, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mustafizur Rahman, Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan, Yuzvendra Chahal and Ravindra Jadeja.
A few high profile names that could end up being head coaches for this three match T20 series include Ricky Ponting, Stephen Fleming or Justin Langer for the World XI while Mahela Jaywardene, Sachin Tendulkar and Ravi Shastri could be head coach for the Asia XI.
Potential World XI Squad
The players who are likely to be selected in a World XI squad will be David Warner, Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow, Chris Gayle, Steve Smith, Ben Stokes, Jos Butler, Andre Russell, Glenn Maxwell, Jofra Archer, Mitchell Starc, Patrick Cummins, Kagiso Rabada, Imran Tahir and Mitchell Santner.
Difficult To Predict Winner
This will be the first time in a long time that India will host a match such as this. An Asia XI v World XI is a rare occurrence. There is no doubt that this unique faceoff will generate a lot of interest. Audiences will tune in from within the sub-continent and from around the world.
Asia XI should have the edge given that all three matches are in the sub-continent. However, given that all World XI players have extensive IPL experience, the odds are more or less even. And hence, no clear favourite!