Bangladesh on Sunday confirmed that it will send the national cricket team to Pakistan for a one-day international and a Twenty20 international later this month, ending long speculation regarding the series.
The confirmation came through a joint statement issued by the Bangladesh Cricket Board and Pakistan Cricket Board from Lahore. BCB president AHM Mustafa Kamal signed the statement on behalf of the BCB.
‘I am pleased to confirm this visit today. I know how important it is for the PCB to revive cricket in their country,’ Kamal was quoted as saying in the joined statement, also signed by his Pakistani counterpart Zaka Ashraf.
‘This tour is taking place in Pakistan after 2009 and this short visit will hopefully demonstrate to the world that cricket should start taking place in Pakistan,’ said Kamal.
Bangladesh, according to this statement, will play a one-day match on April 29 and a Twenty20 game the next day, both in Lahore.
Foreign teams have continued to shun Pakistan for more than three years now after the terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore in March 2009 when six Pakistani policemen and a van driver were killed
Pakistan government had promised a fool-proof security for the Bangladesh team after their security delegation assessed the situation there last month.
Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Zaka Ashraf said the confirmation is a good sign.
‘I am extremely pleased that Bangladesh has confirmed the tour. Obviously this is very important for us and we will leave no stone unturned to ensure that this tour takes place in a befitting manner,’ said Ashraf.
Ashraf had recently threatened to review the relation between the two Boards if the tour didn’t take place as Bangladesh tested their patience before confirming the tour.
Bangladesh were due to make a full tour of Pakistan under the International Cricket Council (ICC) FTP in 2012.
The remaining matches of this FTP tour will be played at dates mutually agreed between the Boards in future at the venues (including Bangladesh) to be selected by the two Boards.
Bangladesh earlier said it will send the national team only if the International Cricket Council agrees to maintain standard practice for the series.
The standard practice in an international series is that it will be conducted by neutral officials, appointed by the ICC. Last month, the ICC had said it could waive the requirement for neutral match officials if the proposed series goes ahead.
The joint BCB and PCB statement was followed by a media release of the ICC which said it will need a comprehensive security plan from Pakistan to send the match officials.
‘The ICC Board was informed that the tour will take place and the Board, having due regard to its duty of care to match officials and other ICC staff, requested the PCB to immediately provide a comprehensive security plan for consideration,’ the ICC said.
‘Thereafter, the ICC’s Anti-Corruption and Security Unit will commission a localised risk assessment to determine whether its officials and staff are appropriately protected by the proposed security plan, before any further decision is taken in relation to their appointment.’
The BCB officials in Dhaka declined to comment on whether the tour will go ahead if the ICC found the security situation inappropriate.
Pakistan last year invited Bangladesh for a three-match one-day series which was later changed to two ODIs and one Twenty20 international. Karachi and Rawalpindi were the other possible venues but the delegation that Bangladesh sent in March found the two cities still insecure.
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