Bangladesh’s tour of Pakistan in January-February next year, including three T20Is and two Test matches, is subject to security clearance from the Bangladesh government
The Bangladesh Cricket Board is mulling playing the bilateral series against Pakistan at a neutral venue, in case there is no clearance from Bangladesh government for the national team to travel to Pakistan.
Bangladesh’s tour of Pakistan in January-February next year, including three T20Is and two Test matches, is subject to security clearance from the Bangladesh government.
“If we get the clearance from the government, we can start discussions with them [Pakistan]. But we are yet to get the clearance as of now. Everything will depend on what the government wants. We will definitely sit with the players to take their opinions [if the government gives clearance],’’ BCB cricket operations committee Chairman Akram Khan told the media at Mirpur Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Dhaka Tuesday.
“If we don’t get the clearance from the government for any reason, we have to discuss playing at a neutral venue. If we get clearance, then things will be different. At this moment, we have to wait on the security report from the government,” the former Bangladesh captain added.
A delegation from the Bangladesh government recently visited Pakistan for a security assessment, following which the BCB had sent the national women’s team and Bangladesh U-16 boys’ side to tour there earlier this year. The same delegation will advise the Bangladesh government and the BCB over the men’s team’s tour.
BCB Director Akram wants to discuss playing the Test and T20I series separately instead of together. However, this is a point which the Pakistan Cricket Board has already declined.
According to media reports, the PCB believes having the series split to two locations would negatively affect the country in their bid to host any future international series and the Pakistan Super League Twenty20.
Pakistan has come a long way towards reviving cricket in the country, since the terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore in 2009.
Bangladesh in the past did not get the green signal from the government to travel to the country, while teams like the West Indies and Sri Lanka visited but for short tours that only included ODIs and T20Is.
With Sri Lanka set to tour Pakistan with a full-strength side for a Test series this month, eyes will be on the BCB for their opinion on touring the country for a longer stay.
Akram, however, reiterated that the decision to tour is not dependant on the other teams touring Pakistan, and the BCB will wait for the government’s suggestion.
“Who is going there is not the matter for us. If we get the clearance from government, we will think about the tour. As I said earlier, at this moment we are waiting for the government’s suggestion,” he said.