(Photo by AAMIR QURESHI/AFP via Getty Images)

The PCB has dispelled impressions that Pakistani players were ignored for next year’s T20 games between Asia XI and World XI, saying they were invited by BCB but will not be available as the dates are clashing with the Pakistan Premier League.

The two matches between the Asian XI and World XI are scheduled to be held on March 18 and 21 in Dhaka as part of celebrations to commemorate the birth centenary of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahaman, Bangladesh’s father of nation.

“There is some confusion regarding the Asian eleven and World eleven matches. Our players were invited but since these matches are clashing with the Pakistan Premier League it is not possible for us to make our players available,” a spokesperson of the board said.

He dismissed reports that Pakistani players were not part of the Asian XI as they didn’t want to play alongside Indian players or that the Indian board was behind their sidelining from the Asian and World XI matches.

“The fact is that back in June we were invited by the Asian Cricket Council to nominate players for the Asian eleven and we accordingly requested the ACC and Bangladesh board to slightly adjust the dates of these matches so that our players can also participate in them,” he said.

“We had requested a shift in dates since dates were clashing with the latter part of the PSL to be held in Pakistan this time.”

The official said that the ACC and BCB had informed them that shifting the dates was not possible due to broadcasting commitments and the international calender.

“That is why our players are not taking part in these matches,” he added.

He said it was unfortunate that different twists were being given to the whole issue to create negative impressions about Pakistan cricket.

Another official in the PCB also made it clear that Pakistan was on course to host the Asia Cup T20 event in September as it had been granted hosting rights.

“The event will hopefully be held in Pakistan as planned and in due course of time we will be holding talks with stakeholders to ensure that all boards send their teams to Pakistan. Other options are on the table as well,” he said.

Asked about the ongoing tussle with the Bangladesh board regarding their scheduled Test matches of the ICC World Test Championship in Pakistan in January, the official said there was no tussle but talks were still going on.

“They have responded to our last mail saying because of the security situation they can’t play Tests in Pakistan but are willing to play a T20 series in January. The PCB chairman has once again in reply reminded them they have not responded to any of our queries in the last mail sent to them,” he said.

“Our position is clear the BCB must come up with a reasonable reason for not wanting to send their test team and secondly we have told them playing at any neutral venue is not a option for us now after the successful test tour by Sri Lanka,” he added.

(PTI)