In what is expected to be a dream come true moment for cricket fans in India and Pakistan, top Indian and Pakistani players may play together for the Asian Cricket Council in the upcoming Afro Asia cup. The tournament which was last played in 2007, will be back in full flow in the T20 format in 2023. If that happens, we might see the likes of Babar Azam, Virat Kohli, and Rohit Sharma playing together for a single team.
Asian Cricket Council (ACC), which is now headed by Jay Shah has hinted that they are going to restart the Afro Asia cup in 2023 in T20 format. The tournament which may take place in June-July next year is waiting for the final approval from other respective individual cricket boards. The event will be discussed in detail at the next month’s ICC Annual General Meeting and a final call will be taken there.
This showpiece event was held twice before in 2005 and 2007 respectively. If it happens as planned, then it might turn out to be a historic event that will see the current top Indian and Pakistani cricketers playing together for the first time ever. Both sides who have stopped playing bilaterals against each other since the 2009 terrorist attack in Mumbai, only play against each other in ICC and ACC events.
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Given that this event is now almost a possibility, let’s put forward the best combined India-Pakistan T20 eleven that could light up the 2023 Afro Asia cup. If all are fit and available, then Babar, Rohit, and Kohli are certainties in the XI. Pakistan keeper Mohammad Rizwan may get the nod ahead of the Indian counterpart Rishabh Pant based on his current form.
In the bowling department Shaheen Shah Afridi, Jasprit Bumrah, and Yuzvendra Chahal are certainties. Bhuvneshwar or Haris Rauf may get the nod for the 3rd seamers role, and Shadab and Jadeja are expected to be in contention for the spin bowling all-rounders role. Given the lack of competition for his role, Hardik Pandya for sure will slot in at number six as the fast bowling all-rounder, if he is fit and available.
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Shadab Khan / Ravindra Jadeja
Bhuvneshwar Kumar / Haris Rauf
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