Bangladesh to tour Pakistan in April 2012
The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) will conduct a security inspection of Pakistan in January 2012 as a precursor to Bangladesh's tour of Pakistan in April the same year, Mustafa Kamal, the president of the BCB has said. His statements came after PCB officials, including new chairman Zaka Ashraf, met with BCB members in Dhaka.
Following the meeting, Ashraf announced that the PCB had endorsed Kamal as its choice for president of the ICC from 2014. Under the ICC's rotation policy, it is PCB's and BCB's turn to jointly nominate a candidate. If approved, the nominee will assume office as the ICC's vice-president at the end of its annual conference in 2012 and thereafter ascend to the presidency in 2014.
However, Kamal's nomination is not a formality yet. He needs to be approved by a majority of BCB directors, and ESPNcricinfo understands he is not an automatic selection. The final nomination will then be handed over to the ICC by December 31, 2011.
The two boards had been discussing the prospect of Bangladesh touring Pakistan as the by-product of a deal between them over choosing the next vice-president. The PCB had formed a security plan to present to its Bangladesh counterpart to convince it to send the national team to Pakistan.
"My board today agreed to form a security committee to visit Pakistan in January 2012 to review their security measures so as to ensure proper security arrangements are in place prior to arrival of Bangladesh team in Pakistan," Kamal said in a statement. "My board further agreed that Bangladesh cricket team will visit Pakistan in April 2012 as per ICC's Future Tours Programme. I hope this way, slowly and gradually, international cricket will come back to Pakistan."
At the press conference following the meeting, Ashraf said that the situation in Pakistan was back to normal now. "All those things that you must have seen, they are over now. That's why we want to reorganise cricket, bring back cricket to Pakistan. Fans are also being deprived of this game."
The purpose of the meeting was to find ways of strengthening the bonds between the two boards, and a number of other collaborations were also announced. Among them were reciprocal tours between "A", Academy and Under-19 teams, as well as between the women's team of both countries. Pakistan would also provide assistance in training the Bangladesh academy players. In addition, the two countries will partner together to "organising international cricket events in collaboration with other cricket boards".
"I am also encouraged with the steps that we agreed to today, which will help in developing and making Bangladesh cricket more stronger," Kamal said. He also expressed his gratitude to the PCB for nominating him for the presidency of the ICC.
"It is a matter of pride and a privilege to receive the PCB's support on my nomination. I will try to live up to the expectations of not only the people of Bangladesh but for Pakistan as well, and also the entire cricketing fraternity. The support that the PCB has given me demonstrates the close relations that our two boards enjoy, and it is not the first time that the PCB has come forward to support us.
"Who could forget that it was Pakistan that proposed Bangladesh's entry into Test cricket? We are indebted to them. Pakistani players have played in Bangladesh and have helped our cricketers a lot. We will also try to support Pakistan in any way we can."