India and Pakistan played against each other in the 2015 ICC World Cup and in the 2016 World T20 and India emerged victorious on both occasions.
Cricket lovers in India and Pakistan will get to witness the biggest rivalry in the sporting world twice this year. While both the nations were scheduled to face each other at the ICC Champions Trophy in June later this year, BCCI official M V Sridhar confirmed to the Indian Express that India will be participating in the Emerging Cup to be held between March 15 to 26 at Bangladesh. The tournament was started in 2013 and is authorised by the Asian Cricket Committee.
“Yes, India would be sending a team to the tournament. It’s an ACC tournament and so we would go there. This is not a bilateral India-Pakistan series, and so this is different,” said MV Sridhar. However, there is a slight twist as in the tournament’s format is not a usual one. Even though the matches are played in the ODI format, four top countries: India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh can only pick 4 players above the age of 23 years in their squad.
On the other hand, Afghanistan, UAE, Hong Kong, Nepal will be allowed to field their national sides without any restrictions. Among the current Indian players, Rishabh Pant, Jasprit Bumrah and Hardik Pandya are 23 years or less and if the selectors give a nod, might feature in the tournament.
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However, Sridhar said that given India’s busy schedule, it will be tough to send four national players but the final decision will be taken by the selectors. India and Pakistan haven’t played a bilateral series since 2013 due to the tension between tow countries.
However, they did face off each other at the 2015 ICC World Cup and in the 2016 World T20 and India emerged victorious on both occasions. They are now set to play against each other in the upcoming Champions Trophy in England on June 4 in Edgbaston.