BCB President Nazmul Hasan Sunday met with the team on the sidelines of the training camp at Mirpur as he would be unable to meet with the players again before they depart for Lahore, likely on January 22
Cricketers of the Bangladesh national team Sunday reported for the first day of preparation for the forthcoming T20 phase of the Pakistan tour. However, discussions in the dressing room focused more on security concerns than on cricket.
The Pakistan Cricket Board has been putting in significant effort to reintroduce international cricket to the country since last year, as a terror attack on the Sri Lankan team in 2009 led to a ban on travel there for the sport for a decade.
Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) President Nazmul Hasan Sunday met with the team on the sidelines of the training camp at Mirpur as he would be unable to meet with the players again before they depart for Lahore, likely on January 22. He confirmed that concerns over security were weighing on the minds of the travelling players.
“We did not want to discuss security with the players, however, there was a small discussion and I told them there is nothing to worry about and that they should think more on the game. The performance will be affected if they are thinking about it [security],” the BCB president told the media.
“Cricket is a tough game to play without mental peace. On top of that, the format is T20, which tends to be very tense. The game changes every second. I have told them to keep calm and that Inshallah everything will be fine. I will be joining them and will stay with them. There will be no issues,” Nazmul added.
Regarding preparations the Bangladesh side is taking to ensure the safety of the cricketers, Nazmul said: “We have an advance security team. We have been informed that we will have personnel from NSI and DGFI looking after the cricketers throughout the tour, and we are taking out own preparations as well.
“Personnel from the national security agencies will travel with our cricketers along with BCB security. We have seen the PCB’s security plan and there is nothing more that can be done to it. The fact is that incidents can happen anywhere now. The situation for us [BCB] would have been different if this was simply a bilateral series,” he further said.
“We have the ICC Test Championship matches that we need to play, so we naturally had no option [but to travel to Pakistan]. It is important for us to participate as a full member country of the ICC, and that is where we had some pressure. I believe we will be able to understand the situation there once we come back from playing this T20 series, and we can discuss if there is any issue,” Nazmul explained.
Bangladesh will tour Pakistan in three phases, starting with the T20I series. The cricketers are set travel to Lahore for the T20Is on Wednesday, and will travel back home after the conclusion of the matches on January 27.
The team will return to Pakistan to play the first Test in Rawalpindi, which starts on February 7, before Pakistan's players partake in the Pakistan Super League T20. Bangladesh will then return to play the lone ODI on April 3, before the second Test starts in Karachi on April 5.