Bangladesh are scheduled to tour Pakistan next year for a T20I and Test series. Even as the 20-overs games will take place at Lahore’s Gaddafi Stadium on January 23, 25 and 27, there are clouds looming large over the Test matches. The Tests were earlier slated to take place in Rawalpindi and Karachi, but now the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) is reluctant for the games in Pakistan.
Instead, the BCB wants the Tests to be played at a neutral venue. In the meantime, while the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is keeping their fingers crossed for the series to happen, the board has made it clear that playing Test cricket in some other nation isn’t an option for them.
PCB puzzled by Bangladesh’s reason to not play Tests despite security provision
“We have had a round of correspondence with them [the BCB] and they are happy to play three T20s in Pakistan but they are slightly reluctant to play two Tests,” Wasim Khan, the PCB Chief Executive, was quoted as saying in a press conference on Wednesday. “I have written back to them, being very strong in my response, and asked the reason why. We have our security plans signed off by ICC and it has been signed off for a while now,” Khan stated.
“Sri Lanka are going to compete their series here and everything went very safely with all security provisions in place. So, we are asking Bangladesh what is the reason for you not wanting to come. It (correspondence) is not finished yet and it doesn’t mean they are not coming. They are talking about three T20s, but for us playing Test cricket in another country isn’t an option now,” he added.
Amidst the confusion, Nazmul Hasan Papon, the BCB president, has said that the board won’t be forcing any of the players to tour Pakistan. The board is waiting for a report regarding the security clearance. But Papon stated that the players’ opinion will also be taken into consideration.
Meanwhile, Sri Lanka is about to end their tour of Pakistan in a few days. The second Test at the Karachi National Stadium is underway and the Lankan players have given a positive feedback about the security arrangements on the tour. An MCC team, led by Kumar Sangakkara, is also set to tour Pakistan next year.
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