Bangladesh uncertain about playing T20s, Tests in Pakistan

  • Sports Correspondent,
    Published: 2019-12-26 22:15:40 BdST

Bangladesh are not sure about playing Twenty20 International matches in Pakistan, let alone a Test series, according to Nazmul Hassan.

The Bangladesh Cricket Board president made the comments on Thursday after Pakistan Cricket Board Chairman Ehsan Mani had hinted at raising the matter with the International Cricket Council should Bangladesh refuse to play the Tests in Pakistan.

Enthused by the smooth staging of a Test series against Sri Lanka, the first in Pakistan in a decade, PCB has announced its team would no longer play their 'home' matches abroad as has been the practice with Test teams shunning the country citing safety concerns.

As per the ICC’s Future Tours Programme, Bangladesh are expected to play three T20Is in Lahore before a two-Test series against Pakistan who completed a 1-0 series victory against Sri Lanka on Monday.

The PCB was hopeful the full tour would go ahead given that Sri Lanka had returned to the country for the Test series after a 2009 militant attack on Sri Lanka's team bus in Lahore left six security personnel and two civilians dead and six players injured.

The attack saw Pakistan spend the next decade in the Test wilderness as teams refused to play there due to security concerns.

Bangladesh playing any matches in Pakistan still depends on clearance from different security agencies of the government, BCB chief Nazmul pointed out.

Most of the coaching staff and some of the players are unwilling to play in Pakistan while some others agreed to travel to the country for a short time only, he told the media.

“The most important thing is that their families are worried,” Nazmul said.

“Those who have agreed said they would return within a week after playing T20s and that experience would help them consider whether to play longer versions in future,” he said.

PCB chief Mani had given the Christchurch mosque attack in New Zealand as an example that there is a security risk in every country, but Nazmul has not accepted the argument.

“It’s true that anything can happen anywhere, but concerns are certainly higher in Pakistan than in many other places,” the BCB president said.

He said the BCB had informed the PCB that the Tigers would try to play a T20 series in Pakistan for now. “We will send a team if we can form one and if the cricketers and coaching staff agree,” he said.   

He, however, has no doubt about Pakistan’s ability to provide foreign players with security.

“But there are many things beyond security. How many days someone can be in an enclosed environment? You must consider the mental issues,” Nazmul said.

He reiterated that the board would not force anyone to travel to Pakistan.

The BCB boss urged Pakistan to understand the situation and organise the Test series in a neutral venue.

“There can be another option – rescheduling matches. If that doesn’t happen and it becomes an extreme case, there may arbitration or something like this. Let’s see,” he added.