BCCI LIKELY TO SEND A SECOND-STRING TEAM TO ASIA CUP 2021
The Asia Cup tournament has already seen many developments. Earlier, the tournament was to be held in 2020 as per the original schedule. The tournament was pushed further this year owing to the pandemic situation in the world. There were reports stating that the Asia cup might start from the first day of June in Sri Lanka.
Later on, there were numerous reports about team India skipping the event owing to their busy schedule. India has been the most successful team at the Asia Cup with seven titles to their name. Cricket fans awaited the results of the World Test Championship Test series to know if the Indian cricket team will make it to the Asia Cup or the World Test Championship finals.
Team India has won the tournament against England by a 3-1 win in the Test series. The Indian cricket team will lock horns with Kane Williamson-led New Zealand cricket team in the finals of the World Test Championship. The series is going to be held at London’s Lord’s Cricket Ground in June 2021.
Very recently, Ehsan Mani, the chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) stated that the Asia Cup 2021 might get postponed to 2023 if India qualifies for the final of the World Test Championship (WTC).
However, if we talk about the current scenario, it is unlikely that the Asia Cup will be postponed. Team India and New Zealand will compete in the finals from June 18 to 22, and on the other hand, Asia Cup is expected to begin from the last week of the same month in Sri Lanka.
Talking about the latest development, a source told a leading portal that if the Asia Cup is conducted in June, BCCI will have to send a second-string team there as their main focus will be on the World Test Championship. The source further informed that the decision is taken owing to security reasons as well as the players will be unable to quarantine themselves twice in such a short span of time.
The statement from the source as per a report in the Times of India reads as “There’s no other choice. We can’t risk the preparation for the series in England. And cricketers can’t twice undergo quarantine. If the Asia Cup happens, India will have no option but to send a second-string squad”.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is contemplating mediating a situation with the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) that organizes the Asia Cup. BCCI is in talks with the officials to send a second-string Indian team to Sri Lanka for the Asia Cup due to the team’s busy schedule. Apart from the WTC, the Men in Blue will have a five-Test series against England. After the tour of England, India is going to host the T20 World Cup too.
A second-string means the team will lack top players like Virat Kohli, Rishabh Pant, Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami and others. Now, the question is if the BCCI goes ahead as per this plan, who will head the team in the absence of Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma. well, it could be keeper-batsman KL Rahul since he was Kohli’s deputy in the limited-overs leg in Australia.
However, there might be an issue with the BCCI sending a second-string team to the Asia Cup. The other teams like Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Bangladesh might be unwilling to play against a stand-in roster.
Now, time will tell whether we will see a second-string Indian Cricket team in the Asia Cup 2021 tournament or not! We have to wait to see who will lead it and what will be the reactions by the other participating teams in the Asia Cup on the second-string team.
For all the latest developments and critical updates related to the Asia Cup, keep following this space!