Asia Cup 2014 January 16, 2014

Pakistan to take part in Asia Cup


Isam: SL tour will be important for Asia Cup

The Asian Cricket Council, on Thursday, confirmed Pakistan's participation in this year's Asia Cup in Bangladesh. However, the regional cricket body has said that the participation of all teams is subject to their individual government's decision. Pakistan will now join Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan in the tournament which will take place between February 25 and March 8.

According to the ACC chief executive Ashraful Huq, Pakistan are "provisionally" scheduled to arrive in Dhaka on February 22, train for the next two days, and then play the tournament opener in Fatullah against Sri Lanka on February 25. Their security representative will arrive in Dhaka on Saturday, as part of the ICC's security meeting on Monday.

"Obviously every country's participation is subject to their government's order, more so in the subcontinent," Huq said. "Pakistan's security officer will arrive here on January 18 to take part in the ICC's security meeting which will, I am sure, give a clean report as there is no problem at the moment. The two officials of Sri Lanka Cricket are very close to me and they, too, I hope will give a clean report. The Pakistan team is provisionally booked to arrive on February 22 as they want to practice on February 23 and 24."

Even in the event of Pakistan pulling out, Huq said the tournament will go ahead as planned. He did however confirm that he had received assurance from the Bangladesh Nationalist Party, the political party that is opposing the government for not holding elections under a caretaker government.

"The Asia Cup will go on even if any team decides not to participate in it," Huq said. "Earlier in 1986 in Sri Lanka, India didn't participate while in 1991, Pakistan didn't participate in India.

"I have been informed by BNP's authorised spokesperson that they will support the event. But I can't disclose a name. Those who believe that the Asia Cup will be shifted elsewhere are living in a fool's paradise."

Political violence has devastated Bangladesh in the last three months, but it is hoped that there won't be much trouble during the time of the Asia Cup. On Wednesday, BNP chairperson Begum Khaleda Zia did not announce any blockades or strikes for the month. This bodes well for the tournament as normal life has already resumed in many parts of the country, including Dhaka, in the last five days.

The issue with Pakistan's security concern is however related more to a diplomatic conflict, which is not entirely connected to the political impasse of the last three months. However, the BCB has guaranteed to the PCB that they will provide extra security personnel during Pakistan's stay in Bangladesh.

The other major talking point was the use of two venues - Fatullah and Mirpur - at two ends of Dhaka. The first five matches of the tournament will be held in Fatullah, to the south of Dhaka, and the rest, including the final on March 8, will be held at the Shere Bangla National Stadium.

The hitch in the schedule is the lack of reserve days. Though it is a predominantly dry season, things could go haywire if rain interrupts, as there is only one rest day ahead of the final.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on January 20, 2014, 9:34 GMT

    It is the first time that Afghanistan will play four matches against full members. I am confident that they will cause one or two upsets. I think the target would be Pakistan and Bangladesh. I hope that Afghanistan proves its potential of being able to become a full member. Good luck my heroes!!!!

  • Farhan on January 20, 2014, 9:22 GMT

    @r0ketman,: We pulled of from the Pakistan tour because there was no security. Even the Governer of Punjab said that he can't promise security before our tour so what we have done was the right thing the do. What Pakistan have done is just to take revenge on us, They had no excuse for not coming here but not only they said that they wanna come, they also asked others to refuse to tour for T20 WC. We didnt do anything like that with them. Pakistan have no done anything for BD cricket and since we refused to tour they have created many trouble, So there is no reason to thank them, They are coming here because they couldn't convince other and dont wanna lose out the profit share. Gets your fact right before you blame us for not touring them and praise someone for being kind when they are trying to back stab us

  • Dummy4 on January 19, 2014, 12:48 GMT

    Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (January 18, 2014, 22:59 GMT) Spot on bro...its money which is replacing emotions and charms of REAL cricekt

  • Dummy4 on January 19, 2014, 11:21 GMT

    respect to pakistan , we pulled off but you didnt , you guys stand as a bigger man , thanks to india as well for their support in keeping asia cup in bd (though really hate bcci for their greed as they havent invite bd to play for nearly 10 years ! )

  • roket on January 19, 2014, 0:12 GMT

    @asporag: You are joking, right? "Thanks to India for standing beside us as a true friend of Bangladesh and cricket." Really? Is this why India has never invited BD to play in India? I guess true friends do not invite friends over for cricket matches! As for Pakistan's decision, as BD fans we should appreciate it. We did pull off a tour of Pakistan at the last minute, after officially agreeing to visit them. That was not a "friendly" thing to do on our part, and they could have easily pulled off from this tournament, they have done it before, and it is not the world cup. Let us not look at Cricket with a political sunglass, and call spade a spade. When it comes to cricket, Pakistan has done a lot more for BD than India ever has. India joining Asia cup is not an earth shattering event, inviting BD to play in India would be.

  • Jay on January 18, 2014, 22:59 GMT

    This could be the last Asia Cup in which India participates with its 'cousins' from the sub continent. What a dirty proposal put forward by the BCCI, ECB and CA ! That would effectively kill off cricket as we know and love.

  • Syed on January 18, 2014, 19:51 GMT

    @class9ryan: If pak dont play Afganistan will miss the best bowling attack.

  • Dummy4 on January 18, 2014, 16:34 GMT

    Pak is the 2nd most successful country in the ODI history and if they come to BD it will be great to see them playing here. Hopefully, this time BD beat all of them not only IND, SL, and AFG but also Pak to win the 1st Asia cup.

  • $$ milind on January 18, 2014, 14:15 GMT

    Whatever it is wouldn't mind if Pakistan are there or not, the best thing is Afghan players are exposed to top-class ODI outfits and I want them to get a Test status soon.

  • Dummy4 on January 18, 2014, 13:18 GMT

    that is very good news for afg team and for all afghanistan to play for the 1st time in asia cup hopelly afg predy well played in this asia cup and beat any team in this cup we done afghanistan sediq from afg kunar

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