Bangladesh tour of Pakistan in January unlikely

The Bangladesh team management cited security concerns for rethinking Pakistan tour © AFP

Dhaka: Dec 31, 2012

Bangladesh’s scheduled tour of Pakistan in January 2013 is not likely to go ahead due to security concerns cited by the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB).
It is to be recalled that the BCB had made a commitment to the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) that they would tour the country during an International Cricket Council (ICC) meeting in October this year. This would have made Bangladesh the first international side to tour Pakistan after six Sri Lankan players were injured and eight Pakistanis were killed when gunmen opened fire on the Lankan team coach in Lahore in 2009.
BCB chairman Nazimul Hasan, at a news conference on Monday, acknowledged that Bangladesh had committed to travelling to Pakistan, but cited some concerns.
“We have made a commitment to travel to Pakistan. But still there are some concerns,” Hasan told Azad Majumder of Reuters.
“We have noticed the security situation in Pakistan has not improved significantly, rather deteriorated. In this circumstance, we think it will not be very wise to tour.
“We have conveyed our decision to Pakistan already. We are observing the situation. If the situation improves we will keep our commitment.”
“We have made a commitment to travel to Pakistan. It was even in the minutes of an ICC meeting that we will go even if it does not provide the match officials,” he said.
“So it was almost mandatory for us. But we believe that the security of players and officials are the most important thing.”
The BCB president said that they were ready to face the consequences of not touring Pakistan, what with several Pakistani players involved in Bangladesh’s domestic Twenty20 tournament, the Bangladesh Premier League.
“We are aware that Pakistan will not be happy with our decision. They might not send players in our domestic cricket, may not cooperate us in many other fields and we have to accept it,” he said.
In April this year, Bangladesh were supposed to tour Pakistan for a Twenty20 match and One-Day International in Lahore. However, the Dhaka High Court issued a restraining order against the Bangladesh team travelling to Pakistan due to security concerns.
Afzalur Rahman Sinha, a BCB member and chairman of Bangladesh Premier League governing council chairman, said the tournament would go on even if it is boycotted by Pakistani players, more than 50 of whom were auctioned in the last edition.
“We believe no one is indispensable. The tournament will go ahead if even if Pakistani players don’t come,” he said.