Karachi: Jan 10, 2014
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) will send an official to Bangladesh to inspect the security arrangement for the Asia Cup there before deciding on whether to participate in the tournament or give it a miss.
PCB’s acting chairman Najam Sethi confirmed that Colonel Azam will be going to Bangladesh on January 20 with the ICC‘s security delegation to inspect the security plan and arrangement for the Asia Cup and the ICC World T20 put in place by the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB).
“We have genuine security concerns for our team in Bangladesh and we have also sought advice from the ministry of foreign affairs and have also written to the ICC about this,” Sethi said.
“The situation in Bangladesh has to be looked by us with reference to the protests aimed at Pakistan. We will also be taking up this issue at the ICC meeting in Dubai,” he added.
The BCB and the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) have insisted that the tournament can be held on schedule and security for visiting teams will be guaranteed.
But the main concern of the BCB is that if the Asia Cup is not held on schedule or any team pulls out, it could also affect their chances of hosting the ICC World T20 Championship.
Sethi said the PCB were keeping the ministry of foreign affairs updated and would seek advice from them after the security inspection in Bangladesh.
“It is not that we don’t want to play in the Asia Cup but we have genuine concerns which have to be addressed first. We have to be satisfied our players can play in Bangladesh with a peace of mind,” he stated.
Pakistan cricket itself has suffered because of the security situation and terrorism in the last four years with no Test team willing to play in the country after militants attacked the Sri Lankan team in Lahore in March, 2009.
Sources in the PCB said the fact that the West Indies team pulled out of a series in Bangladesh recently and returned home because of security concerns is also being taken seriously by the ICC and other teams also have concerns about playing the World T20 in Bangladesh.
“As far as the Asia Cup is concerned it appears that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) will play a lead role in deciding the future of the tournament in Bangladesh,” one source said.
“If the Indians back the BCB the PCB could also review its stance,” he added.
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