With India qualifying for the ICC World Test Championship final in June, there’s a big question-mark over their participation at the Asia Cup 2021 which is likely to be held at the same time. However, there are murmurs that BCCI may send a second-string squad to the continental tournament which was cancelled last year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Asian Cricket Council (ACC) may organise the event in June end in Sri Lanka and top BCCI officials are holding meetings with them to zero in on a window. The WTC final, to be held in England, is slated to begin from June 18 but Indian players in all likeliness will stay back for a five-match series against Joe Root’s men to acclimatise to the conditions.

The players will then return home in August for white-ball matches against South Africa and New Zealand at home. If this scenario plays out, then several first-choice India cricketers will not be available for the Asia Cup should it be held.

“There’s no other choice. We can’t risk the preparation for the series in England. And cricketers can’t twice undergo quarantine. If the Asia Cup happens, India will have no option but to send a second-string squad,” The Times of India quoted unnamed sources as saying on Monday.

Last month, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ehsan Mani had said that the biennial tournament will be postponed to 2023. “We swapped the 2020 Asia Cup, which was supposed to be held in Sri Lanka, to 2021 in June because of the pandemic situation last year. However, it’s going to clash with the World Test Championship and hence it will now be held in 2023,” Mani had said.

This year the tournament, if given a go-ahead, will be played in T20 format.

India players will likely to fly down to the UK in the first week of June for the WTC after the conclusion of IPL 2021.