The BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India) has been accused by their Pakistani equivalents the PCB (Pakistan Cricket Board) of spreading false and misleading information about the non-participation of players from Pakistan in an upcoming cricket tournament between an Asia XI and a World XI, to be held next March.
The two T20 matches, which are scheduled for March 16th and March 20th, have been given official status by the ICC (International Cricket Council) and are being organised by the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB), and the Asian Cricket Council. They are part of a series of events planned to celebrate the centenary of the birth of the founder of Bangladesh, Bongobondhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
That raised the intriguing possibility that Indian and Pakistani players could feature in the same Asian team together. However, according to reports apparently emanating from the BCCI, that scenario can be ruled out because no Pakistan players have been invited to take part in the matches. They have also said that chairman of the BCCI, Sourav Ganguly, will be picking all the players who will represent Asia.
The PCB has now reacted quickly to rubbish these suggestions, explaining that the reason their players will not be able to take part is due to a scheduling conflict only. In fact, Pakistan would be more than prepared to release players for the tournament, if the dates of the matches could be moved so they do not overlap with the HBL Pakistan Super League 2020. That is not due to finish until March 25th, hence the reasons why players are not going to be available.
The PCB further explained that they had offered their regrets to their counterparts in Bangladesh, in writing and verbally, and that their apologies had been accepted by the host nation.
The war of words did not cease there, however, with the PCB asserting that the security situation in their country is now safer than India.
Test cricket has recently returned to Pakistan after a hiatus of more than ten years following an attack on the Sri Lankan team bus in March 2009 which saw six policemen killed and a number of people injured, including Sri Lankan players and match officials.