For Bangladesh, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman is a revered personality. Sheikh Mujibur, dubbed Bangabandhu for his role in creating the republic of Bangladesh, served as the country’s first Prime Minister and President. On March 17, 2020, the country will celebrate the 100th birth anniversary of Sheikh Mujibur and there are massive celebrations planned. Not only will it be a national holiday, but the Bangladesh Cricket Board has planned a special series. The BCB has planned to host two Twenty20 Internationals between an Asia XI and World XI in March 2020. The two matches will be played at the Sher-e-Bangla international stadium in Mirpur. Speaking about the series, Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) president Nazmul Hassan has said he expected major cricketers to be part of the event.
“I think only two teams will be busy at the time, but they won’t be playing T20s, so we might get their T20 players. We are looking for the best players among the current lot, and because the games will have international status, everyone will be serious about it. There will be a matter of availability if they [the players] have international duties. They made a special dispensation for Bangladesh, but they said it is only a one-off that such a match will get international status,” Hassan said.
This will not be the first time that a World XI will feature in a major international event. The World XI played Pakistan in a couple of Twenty20 Internationals in the country as they looked to stage matches following the terror attacks in March 2009 which stopped international teams from touring the country. The last time a World XI played a Twenty20 was against the West Indies in a special fundraiser game.
On the other hand, an Asia XI side has never played a Twenty20 International game. There have been contests between the Asia XI and Africa XI in the past. The year 2020 will also be very significant as the World T20 will be hosted in Australia for the first time. West Indies are currently the defending champions, having won the tournament in 2016 with an earlier win in 2012.