Bangladesh turn down invitation to tour Pakistan

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Bangladesh v Pakistan
Pakistan are scheduled to tour Bangladesh in July and the PCB is seeking a part of the revenue generated from the series. — AFP/File

Bangladesh have turned down Pakistan Cricket Board’s (PCB) invitation to tour the country for a proposed two-match T20I series sometime before July this year, ESPNCricinfo reported Friday.

The PCB, in a bid to bring international cricket back to the country, extended the invitation to their Bangladeshi counterparts after they had successfully hosted the PSL final in Lahore three weeks ago.

Major AKM Anisud Dowla, a Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) representative, was one of the important officials who attended the game.

“The reports were not satisfactory enough due to which we had to pull back,”Jalal Younis, the BCB’s media and communication committee chairman, told Dhaka Tribune.

PSL chairman Najam Sethi was resolute about hosting the final in Lahore on March 5 and had taken extensive measures to ensure its security.

There were bulletproof buses for the teams and five tiers of security extending 2 km from the Gaddafi stadium.

Paramilitary forces and local policemen were on hand to monitor the situation as well.

The ICC security advisor Sean Norris, who also attended the PSL final, is expected to submit his report of the night at the ICC board meeting in April.

Pakistan are scheduled to tour Bangladesh in July and the PCB is seeking a part of the revenue generated from the series.

They believe they are owed compensation for the BCB rejecting invitations to play in Pakistan for the last six years.

“We want to host Bangladesh but its chances are not bright,” PCB chairman Shaharyar Khan had said recently.

“Some of our friends think they may tour but I feel they will not because of political concerns more than security concerns. But during ICC meeting I will speak to my Bangladesh counterpart and may re-negotiate our tour to Bangladesh this year and ask them to compensate us for not touring Pakistan.”

On their last visit to Bangladesh in 2015, the PCB had reportedly taken USD 325,000 and justified it by saying the series had “technically” been Pakistan’s home series.

This year the BCB has rejected all proposals to share revenue although they were open to playing at a neutral venue if necessary.

The PCB, however, are not keen on that option. It is understood that they feel hosting teams like Bangladesh and Zimbabwe in the UAE – their adopted home – is not financially viable.

Relations between the Pakistan and Bangladesh boards have been sour in the past.

During the Zaka Ashraf regime, the PCB had stopped communications with the BCB and barred its cricketers – who had already been auctioned to various teams – from featuring in the Bangladesh Premier League.

Bangladesh are the fourth team – after West Indies, Ireland and Sri Lanka – to reject travelling to Pakistan in the last two years.

Nevertheless, the PCB is looking to build on hosting an incident-free PSL final by inviting a team of international cricketers to play a T20 series in September.

Their ultimate goal, however, is to have a Full Member nation tour Pakistan.

Zimbabwe, who were the first team to play international cricket in the country since the 2009 Lahore attacks, had hinted at their willingness to tour again.

But the PCB are hoping for more high-profile options. — ESPNCricinfo

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