India Likely to Send Second-string Side to Sri Lanka for Asia Cup 2021
With India qualifying for the World Test Championship (WTC) final against New Zealand in June, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is contemplating sending a second-string side to the Asia Cup, which is expected to be played later that month in Sri Lanka.
Recently, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ehsan Mani had said that the Asia Cup could get postponed to 2023 if India qualify for the WTC final, starting on June 18, but the chances of that happening now are slim as India sealed their birth in the final with a 3-1 series win over England. Therefore, a packed schedule will force BCCI’s hands to rest their first-choice players and give the second-team a go against Asia’s best if the tournament goes ahead. The tournament was originally slated to be played last year but was postponed because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, but it is believed that it can be inserted in this year’s calendar towards the end of June.
Team India and New Zealand will go head-to-head in the WTC final from June 18 and the players are likely to stay back in the country ahead of their five-match Test series against England to avoid much traveling and any health hazard. Following India’s tour of England, the formerwill host the World T20 as well. Therefore, the BCCI will not send their main players for the Asia Cup in order to manage their workload, as reported by the Times of India.
A second-string side would mean India, who have won the last two editions — 2016 (T20Is) and 2018 (ODIs) — will be without the likes of Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami and other senior players.
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