December 31, 2012

Bangladesh’s cricket tour to Pakistan in jeopardy once more


By Syed Khalid Mahmood  
(Pakistan News & Features Services)

The fierce reaction of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) was expected when their Bangladeshi counterparts jeopardized Bangladesh cricket team’s tour to Pakistan once more. 

The PCB Chairman, Chaudhary Zaka Ashraf, didn’t hide his sentiments at learning about the decision of the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) on the last day of 2012, to put on hold their proposed tour of Pakistan. 

"If they don't want to come it’s their own decision and we didn't force them. They had confirmed the tour to the PCB and the ICC three times and still they backed off. Now their reputation is at stake. If they don't want to respect their bilateral relationship then we will also respond in a same manner,” the PCB Chairman reacted. 

"We will take a principled stance on the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) but one thing is sure our players might not be free as we are making our own arrangements from next year,” Zaka Ashraf added. 

He didn’t mince words in stating that Bangladesh’s tour to Pakistan was almost confirmed and he found it strange that the BCB had pulled out from their commitment. He pledged that the PCB's efforts to revive international cricket in Pakistan were on track and they will soon manage to get a better team to tour Pakistan than Bangladesh. 

Earlier in the day, the BCB chief, Nazmul Hassan, had announced in a media briefing in Dhaka that Bangladesh will only tour Pakistan if the security situation in the country improved. 

"The ICC minutes have it that we have made an unconditional commitment to tour Pakistan. But there is concern among us about the country's security situation, it has deteriorated. We don't think it will be wise to visit Pakistan at this time," he said. 

"We have sent the PCB a letter three days ago, telling them of our stance. We will again contact them when their security situation improves. And we will go in the future, because we are committed to go there," Nazmul Hassan disclosed. 

"It isn't an easy decision for us. If we say we want to go, many people in the country will be hurt. If we don't go, there will be repercussions. We know the consequences. They may not want to send their players to the Bangladesh Premier League and our Dhaka leagues. They will probably not want to help us or support us," he thought. 

It’s not the first time when the BCB has played tricks with the PCB whose officials have been more generous than usual in luring them to undertake a visit in order to revive international cricket in the past. 

The PCB remains more than anxious to host them but the reluctance of the BCB functionaries to go ahead with the tour indicates their indecision and double-mindedness due to some reasons. 

Bangladesh’s cricket team was set to visit Pakistan earlier this year but they postponed it on grounds which were not too convincing. May be they are playing tricks with the PCB just to ensure that Pakistan’s cricketers continue appearing in the BPL.

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