Bangladesh in Pakistan 2012 April 19, 2012

Tour postponed after court order


Bangladesh has postponed its tour of Pakistan following a court order that set a four-week embargo on the national team's plans. The decision, communicated on Thursday to the PCB by the BCB's acting CEO Nizamuddin Chowdhury, is the latest twist to a long-running saga that began last December; the tour itself, comprising two limited-overs games, had been finalised last weekend to take place in Lahore at the end of April.

The order came on a day when Pakistan said it had sent a 70-page security plan for the tour to the ICC and announced details of match tickets that were to have gone on sale next week. The events that followed will have added to doubts over whether the tour will indeed go ahead at all.

The PCB reacted sharply to the news. "It is astonishing to note that a matter lacking any legal issue has been dragged in the court by petitioners who appear to have vested interest and want to jeopardise Pakistan-Bangladesh cricketing relations," the statement said.

"It is extremely disturbing to note for the PCB and Pakistan cricket fans and world cricketing nations that such an adverse order has been passed to block a bilateral cricket series."

The court order, delivered by Justices Farid Ahmed and Sheikh Hasan Arif on Thursday afternoon, was in response to a writ petition filed in the morning by a university teacher and a Supreme Court lawyer who, citing concerns over security, challenged the BCB's decision to send the team at the end of April for a three-day tour.

It also said that in the interim period the sports secretary, the National Sports Council chief and BCB chief Mustafa Kamal justify the decision for the tour.

Azim, one of the lawyers for the petitioners, said: "The ICC asked for a security plan from PCB. They have still not given it. Pakistan is not safe for any foreign teams now. Their own media says so. For that reason, no country agrees to play there. Under the same circumstances, we should not go there also."

The petition echoes the prevailing public sentiment surrounding the tour since it was first announced. The mood against the tour - which has been called short-sighted and opportunistic, at the cost of players' safety - grew following the confirmation of dates on Sunday. The tour, of immense importance to Pakistan, is widely seen as a quid pro quo for Kamal getting the Pakistan-Bangladesh joint nomination for the ICC vice-presidency; with the latter in almost certain cold storage, the tour has become an even more complex issue. Kamal's own flip-flops on issues relating to the tour have added to the confusion.

Adding to the complexity is the security angle. The ICC's stated stand is that it has no role in clearing tour; its remit extends to checking to see whether its officials can be deployed. It has, however, scripted its own escape clause by introducing a "special dispensation" that would allow non-neutral officials where the situation did not allow for neutrals.

The security issue prompted the Federation of International Cricketers' Associations (FICA) to issue a strongly worded statement against the tour.

"This decision of whether Bangladesh should tour Pakistan needed to be a concise and transparent process," FICA CEO Tim May said. "Unfortunately all we have witnessed is seemingly a complete lack of any process and a series of indecisive and contradictory comments, particularly coming from Mustafa Kamal.

"The actions and words of Kamal certainly give the impression of confirming rumors that there has been a deal reached between the PCB and Kamal … What has resulted since has been a series of actions and comments that rather than reassure everyone of the safety of such a tour, only have created heightened apprehensions and doubts amongst players re the safety of the tour and the motives of those involved in the decision."

* The entry initially said four months. It has been corrected to four weeks

Mohammad Isam is senior sports reporter at the Daily Star in Dhaka

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on April 22, 2012, 21:24 GMT

    Pcb should think to invite world xi as Rashid lattif said he can do that so they should try it

  • Musa on April 22, 2012, 17:21 GMT

    It is surprising to see in Asian countries that how a petition is heard at first place of a petitioner who has no direct affect on him in a particular matter in question. I have noticed that it happens quite often in Pakistan and now seen in Bangladesh. It would have been understandable if a family member of a Bangladesh cricket team player touring Pakistan would have been a petitioner as that would directly affect the petitioner. How come a random person can file a petition against a situation or someone who has no link to that matter? It is like I should start talking on behalf of Bangladesh cricket team that they should stop playing cricket? If BCB, players and Bangladesh Government had no problem then how someone random can interfere in this matter? Courts in UK & USA give such decisions if petitioner has or will suffer some damage but here I can't see anything like this.

  • Tawhidul on April 22, 2012, 16:47 GMT

    Dear, Pakistani cricket fans, don't be up-set about BD tour. Except BD team, most BD peoples love PAK team for their cricketing ability. Its very helpful for BD team to improve more by playing with world class team like PAK team. But most of u also agree with me that the current situation of PAK is not suitable for cricket. Like other boards (IND,AUS,NZ,SA, ENG etc.) BCB can take decision on public opinion about the tour. Dhaka court ruled on it. We should respect public opinion. In these condition the series could be held out side the pakistan (may be SL, Sharja etc.). Hope that bangladesh will tour Pakistanin the recent future with fearless condition.

  • Dummy4 on April 22, 2012, 6:37 GMT

    Pakistan should not be disappointed on Bangladesh tour cancelled and should not react abruptly. Let us continue the way it is going on. Pakistan should improve the security measures. We should built five star type accommodation adjacent to the stadium with underground path from their residence to the ground. We should try to invite big names of International cricket to take part in our Premier cricket league tournament. Let us try to invite minor countries teams. Once these foreign teams and players satisfied with our security systems, they will spread confidence in other teams and players. Let us resolve all our matters with Indian cricket board. We should realize, today Indian cricket board is a giant in ICC.

  • Abdullah on April 21, 2012, 13:45 GMT

    It seems most did not read or understand the article. However, always lessons are there from the drama (by Pak and Kamal)......1. Stay always honest, don't play with mass ppl mind..(Never go for personal deal, we do not want a person like Kamal to be elected in this way) 2. No matter you are inviting China or BD but u have to have the proper plan first then invite, here observed funny and unprofessional attitude 3. BD will always look for opportunity to play against best times like Pakistan and without stupidity by Kamal, BD is the only team who really like to visit Pak at any chance but does not mean ICC's proper process is not required. ................And please do not bring the "help" matter between BD and Pak, and then we also are able to dig the history where you'll be no way near to us. For those who still don't know - many will agree that Pak team 1999 was the best team forever even than that won WC 92. BD beat that Pak team in WC 99.

  • Dummy4 on April 21, 2012, 10:24 GMT

    if india goes and plays in pakistan, everything will be solved!!!!

  • Rohan on April 21, 2012, 9:29 GMT

    will b interesting 2 see what PCB do with BPL, without pakistani players BPL will b a disaster.....

  • Cricket on April 21, 2012, 7:54 GMT

    Alison_Brie is right. Any foreign tour of Pakistan is not possible atleast for the next few years. Pak players and youngsters should adapt themselves to the foreign conditions.

  • Wicky on April 21, 2012, 7:40 GMT

    @hqureishi78,well said,bd r not of our standards n its high time on bangla cric as they r going to meet tuff oponents in d form of irland,afgh,ken,zim in ordr to conserv their no.10 spot

  • Dummy4 on April 21, 2012, 5:12 GMT

    Leave BD as they r not eligible for it.. Go for SL or may be Ireland (which is far bettr than BD) to come n play with us.. Pak might get mch bettr respnse from them..

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