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Bengal and Lahore Qalandars to take part in T20 series in Namibia in September

An Indian team will face a Pakistani team away in Namibia in September. Around the time the Asian Cup takes place – most likely in the UAE – Cricket Namibia will host the Global T20 Namibia series with four teams, with Bengalis [from India]a representative side of Lahore Qalandars [from Pakistan]and a South African domestic side.

Bengalis have confirmed their participation, and Qalandars agree in principle, with a South African side likely to be named soon. ESPNcricinfo understands that some logistical niggles need to be ironed out before the final go-ahead is given.

The chance to play against a team that will compete in the 2022 T20 World Cup would be invaluable to the Bangladesh players, said Debabrata Das, the joint secretary of the Cricket Association of Bengal.

“The broadcasters for the tournament came for our president [Avishek Dalmiya] and invited us. We took the opportunity to play six to seven matches for the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy [India’s domestic T20 tournament for men]”Because we can play against a World Cup team,” Das told ESPNcricinfo. “The ambition is that there are several young players who are playing cricket locally in Bengal and are doing great in terms of T20s. So we are mainly sending those young guys so that we can make our team for the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy.

“The team we send abroad, this is a new team. We want to see how they play, how they approach this tournament.”

For Namibia, it is an opportunity to fine-tune their preparations for the T20 World Cup to be held in Australia in October-November. At the 2021 T20 World Cup in the UAE, Namibia finished fifth in Group 2 after moving from the qualifying round to the Super 12 stage. After this T20 tournament, Namibia will play an ODI tri-series in Papua New Guinea before departing for Australia, where they will be placed in the first round with Sri Lanka, the Netherlands and the UAE.

There has been very little representative cricket between domestic sides from India and Pakistan in recent years.

The last time was in the Champions League T20 of 2013, when Faisalabad Foxes played against Sunrisers Hyderabad, a match that featured players like Misbah-ul-Haq, Saeed Ajmal, Shikhar Dhawan and Parthiv Patel.

Before that, the Nissar Trophy – a four-day first-class competition between the winners of the Ranji Trophy and the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy – was played between 2006 and 2008. But the competition was canceled after three editions.

with input from Umar Farooq Kalson

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