Bangladesh in Pakistan 2012 April 18, 2012

Bangladesh tour hit by logistical issues


The proposed Bangladesh tour of Pakistan, while agreed to in principle by the two countries' boards, is being threatened by logistical problems stemming from a lack of coordination at the political level. The PCB has delayed sending its security plan to the ICC because issues between the federal government and the state government of Punjab. Zaka Ashraf, the PCB chairman, urged the Pakistan government to play its role in moving quickly for the tour to fall into place, "for the sake of national interest."

Pakistan and Bangladesh, after reaching a consensus on the short tour, had informed the ICC earlier this week that they will play one ODI and one Twenty20 International at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore. The matches are scheduled for April 29 and 30.

Ashraf returned to Pakistan on Tuesday night after attending the ICC board meeting in Dubai, calling for an immediate press conference to announce the Bangladesh visit. He did not however elaborate on any substantial plan ahead for Pakistan to host a foreign team for the first time in three years. Every question about the uncertainty surrounding the Bangladesh tour was responded to with a confident reply that all matters would be sorted out in time.

Meanwhile, at a press conference at the National Cricket Academy, the Punjab chief minister Shahbaz Sharif, welcomed the Bangladesh tour but was himself not certain of the security arrangements in place. "Bangladesh are our brothers and I welcome them to come and play here in Pakistan," Sharif told reporters in Lahore. "But the federal [government] is not coordinating with us."

The PCB, whose headquarters are housed in Lahore, the capital of Punjab, wrote a letter to the chief secretary of the Punjab Government on April 16 regarding security arrangements and plans and was still awaiting a reply from the provincial government. "We had dispatched them the letter for the plan (on April 16) that they are yet to respond to, but we will send the plan to the ICC shortly," Ashraf said. "The ICC actually was asking us to hand them the plan during the [board] meeting but we didn't carry it. It's our mistake that it is delayed for some reason but it will be sorted out soon."

Ashraf said that ICC has already promised to send their officials and the security plan that was sought by the ICC was merely a formality. "ICC won't be sending any of its delegation to assess security. They sought the security plan which we will dispatch to them shortly but that isn't a big issue for ICC."

ESPNcricinfo understands, though, that the ICC's Anti-Corruption and Security Unit, after receiving the plan from the PCB, may consider outsourcing a company for an independent security assessment of the measures in place for the short tour by Bangladesh.

The series broadcasters, Ten Sports, also had their qualms. "They earlier showed reservation about the series being very short," Ashraf said, "but we told them this is what we have planned and that they have to cover it."

The prospect of an end to Pakistan's three-year drought of international cricket, Ashraf said, counted as a big victory. "Cricket is a passion in Pakistan and convincing Bangladesh to tour is a victory for all of us," he said. "The tour will not only benefit the PCB. The whole economy of the country is linked, so it's about the country not about the federal and Punjab government. I think all should play their role for the one national interest."

The three-day tour, Ashraf said, "will break the ice" and he was also confident of the resumption of Indo-Pak cricket. "The breakthrough achieved during President Asif Ali Zardari's tour to India will also help in the revival of Indo-Pak cricket."

Ashraf said the situation had changed considerably since 2009. "I thank the ICC Board for the way they appreciated the revival of cricket and approved of it. The situation is not like it was in 2009. Since cricket was suspended in Pakistan our grounds were left deserted but things have improved and I hope more teams will come after the Bangladesh team's tour."

Edited by Siddarth Ravindran

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on April 19, 2012, 12:12 GMT

    Lets just hold this series somewhere else. Like in Dubai. If something bad happens its a discredit for Pakistan, and bad for Bangladeshi national team also. Plus do you really think cricketers will be able to concentrate on cricket when you have 2000 policemen surrounding you, and expecting something to go wrong? Life is more precious than playing cricket. I do not think anyone with right mind would want this tour to take place. I do not know where Mr. Tito get these ideas, but none of the Bangladeshi cricketers want to take part in this tour. One cricket is even worried that his old father may have an heart attack worrying about him if he carries on with this tour. Pakistani government also gave high class security to Srilankan teams, Ms. Benazir. What was the end result? So lets not fight, and either held this tour in Dubai, or let Pakistan team come visit us in Bangladesh.

  • Dummy4 on April 19, 2012, 10:39 GMT

    In this blog please we should not fight and stop talking nonsence.We have to think how to make this tour possible.thanks to PCB that they have already sent the 70 pages secuirity plan to ICC.Hope that ICC will give a great result regarding the secuirity.Insallah we will see an another nailbitting finish in 29th of April.Best of luck for both the countries....

  • Muhtasim on April 19, 2012, 8:53 GMT

    I would love to see international cricket return to Pakistan. But, its really sad to see how disorganized the PCB really is. Since the Bangladesh tour is their first match in 3 years, I was expecting Pakistan's organization to be more efficient.

  • Dummy4 on April 19, 2012, 8:31 GMT

    Well this makes me think that PCB should have a world class ground in capital Islamabad too, just to avoid the lask of coordnation on provice/federal level. Which also resulted in poor security arrangements of SL tour in March 2009. For this to happen we will have to wait for 5 more years, if PCB builds a ground in Islamabad :)

  • Enamul on April 19, 2012, 8:18 GMT

    El_Toro_Loco@ Its a great kindness of BANGLADESH that at least we agreed to tour miserably insecure pakistan ITS as a gesture of GIFT to the cricket starving pakistani people, otherwise no other teams in the world will even think of it. Try to learn to be GREATFUL to others good deeds this will help you go forward not backward.

  • Dummy4 on April 19, 2012, 7:08 GMT

    We all are very excited about the tour here in Pakistan. We need some sorting at the provincial level which I am sure the Punjab Govt will take care of InshaAllah.

  • Dummy4 on April 19, 2012, 6:27 GMT

    I think it is matter of time.We know that it was a risk taken by Mr.Kamal to sent his team for playing one ODI and one t20 match in pakistan to prove that Pakistan is a safe place for hosting cricket.Thanks to Mr.kamal and Mr.Ashraf for playing this important role for the development of cricketing relationship.So as a Bangladeshi i am very happy to see this kind of relationship because i believe that Pakistan is our brothers and is our 2nd homeland.So it is not matter of worriness that where those two brother is playing.But one thing PCB should take care that is about the secuirity arrangement and convice ICC to send their officials.Please donot waste this kind of oppurtunity when it is too late.Best wishes for both the countries.

  • Nauman on April 19, 2012, 6:13 GMT

    In all earnest, isn't this exactly what happened when the srilankan team was in Pakistan. The deposed state Government blamed the federal government.

    ICC should take notice of this. Mr. Ashraf assured security for foreign players on what basis. It seems no one knows whose in charge.

  • Pleasure on April 19, 2012, 5:55 GMT

    dunno what the fuss is about this useless contest, costing more than money to Pakistan for two lousy games against a below par team.....

  • Baundule on April 19, 2012, 5:45 GMT

    Bangladesh should not worry about this mess in the security. Before playing cricket Bangladeshi cricketers may be asked to do another favor: fix the security problem first.

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