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Zaka Ashraf reacts sternly to Bangladesh delaying tour

Umar Farooq

December 31, 2012

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PCB chairman Zaka Ashraf at a press conference, Lahore, April 18, 2011
Zaka Ashraf: "If Bangladesh don't want to respect their bilateral relationship [with Pakistan], then we will also respond in the same manner" © AFP
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Zaka Ashraf, the PCB chairman, has expressed annoyance at the Bangladesh Cricket Board's (BCB) decision to put their proposed tour of Pakistan on hold a second time. He reacted aggressively, saying that Pakistan will 'reconsider' its bilateral ties with Bangladesh after the BCB, once again, backed down from going ahead with the tour. Pakistan, he said, will not sacrifice their interests for those who do not honour their words.

The PCB, Ashraf said, had not forced Bangladesh to tour. "If they don't want to come its their own decision and we didn't force them," Zaka told ESPNcricinfo. Bangladesh, he said, had confirmed the tour to the PCB and the ICC "three times and still they backed off. Now their own reputation is at stake. If they don't want to respect their bilateral relationship then we will also respond in the same manner."

The most immediate consequences of this breakdown of relations between the two boards over the controversial tour, will be felt at the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) that will begin on January 18. The BPL is clashing with the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy, Pakistan's premier first-class event. ESPNcricinfo understands that the PCB is unlikely to release most of their top players - Umar Gul, Kamran Akmal, Abdul Razzaq, Mohammad Sami, Shahid Afridi, Shoaib Malik, Umar Akmal, Imran Nazir and Wahab Riaz were all signed up at the league's 2013 auction - for the BPL.

"We will take a principled stance on the BPL," Ashraf said. "But one thing is sure: our players might not be free as we are making our own arrangements from next year." He said that PCB-related commitments may occupy most of the players' time and that "they may not be bothered for other things".

The PCB had begun its preparations for an impending tour after getting a positive response from the BCB. Tenders had gone out, inviting sponsorship bids for a series title sponsor, two co-sponsors and in-stadia advertising rights for two international matches (one ODI and one T20). The PCB has also moved the domestic first-class Quaid-e-Azam matches, scheduled between January 7 and 22 away from the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore to accommodate the proposed matches against Bangladesh.

Ashraf said it was "almost confirmed" that Bangladesh would tour Pakistan, but found it "strange" that they had pulled out from their commitment. The PCB's efforts to revive international cricket in Pakistan, according to Ashraf, was on track: "Soon we will manage to get a better team to tour Pakistan than Bangladesh."

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Cricket_theBestGame on (January 3, 2013, 23:59 GMT)

@ Rezaul - the tour of 2003 of BCB was a good thing. pcb appreciated it. thats why pcb is always backing bcb. maybe you've forgotten icc president is your not so long ago BCB cheif who agreed with pcb to tour if pcb voted for him !!! well wisher you said it pal...pcb is a well wisher !

the funny thing is bcb is committing to tour and cancel themselves. how long will they play the security card. pcb time to move on. bcb have been given enough rope now.

Posted by Purbo23 on (January 2, 2013, 22:12 GMT)

Pak board including others didn't support BD test status because Bangladesh played outstanding cricket in 2000-01. The reason behind was to increase Asian country and have some voice in ICC (it was ruled mainly by Aus like India is doing now). The other and most vital reason was "Cricket Business".

Posted by   on (January 2, 2013, 20:15 GMT)

the last ball of asia cup final, when BD lost the cup, is the main reason behind Bangladesh's denial.

Posted by macthebaby on (January 2, 2013, 19:02 GMT)

I am extremely disappointed with PCB for pursuing a tour from Bangladesh cricket team. What will Pakistan cricket get out of this tour, nothing. Bangladesh should have never been given the status of a test playing nation, because they have proved time and time again that they can never learn cricket. And then for such a novice to keep breaking their promises, ICC should take note of it. And Bangladesh, concerned about the security of its players is not realistic. I still remember what they did to the West Indies team. Pakistan should not send its players to BPL and look down upon them in the same way as other cricketing nations do.

Posted by EngineeredCricketer on (January 2, 2013, 17:54 GMT)

This is history now. One thing is worth mentioning here. Life is like a circle, if you are the top, hold the hands of those who are the bottom as it will be your turn then when you will need the same support. This is what is happening to Pakistan. It's their hard times. I would like to mention a Pushto quote here, "Da wakht ba hum ter shi (This time will pass on too)". Good Luck Bangladesh and we are waiting for our good times to come.

Posted by voyager on (January 2, 2013, 17:38 GMT)

Establish its own prefessional league to bring the activity into their stadiums and local comerce. THAT IS THE ONLY THING THAT PAKISTAN CAN AND SHOULD DO. Stop begging to other nations to come and embarass us. Bilateral tours does not generate sufficient interest anymore and definately not against BD, in future the bilateral tours will become obsolete anyway. So simply establish a good league and work hard on its presentation and competition and with time international players will start coming on their own.

Posted by Rezaul on (January 2, 2013, 17:02 GMT)

To the Pak fans who are angry and writing emotional comments about BCB and Bangladesh cricket. For reality check, please see that only one test playing nation (Bangladesh) is considering to tour Pakistan at this moment even at this chaotic situation in Pakistan. No other team is even considering that as an option. On the other hand Bangladesh team expressed their interest again and again to tour their. Hope you did not forget when NZL team went back home keeping their tour half complete and no other teams wanted to tour Pakistan (Aus, Eng, SA postponed their tour), Bangladesh went there and played a full series in 2003. Dont you think thats a friend and well wisher team? This time the situation is far worse. Yet, Bangladesh did not cancell the tour but postponed for a while and waiting for security to improve their. Dont you think thats fair enough? So, before bullying against BCB and Bangladesh team please think twice. Again, Bangladesh still considers touring Pak, nobody else does.

Posted by M_Rakibul_Islam on (January 2, 2013, 16:24 GMT)

@ Zeeshan Arshad: Actually previous time both PK & BD nominated Ehsan according to quota, so this time both of BD & PK nominated Kamal, nothing else. No need to make anymore commitment for this like touring an unsecured country. I must say it was a big mess by BCB (actually Mustafa Kamal alone) to make such useless commitments. And yes PK r doing something for minnows of Asia (currently AFG, UAE) like ENG r doing in Europe, SA for Namibia and WI in North America. But I've not heard BD-XI played in QEA trophy. @ SyedArbabAhmed : Yes, a top team always mention a defeat to minnows as a fluke lol. Ind did the same after 2007 WC, or SL in 2009 after losing to BD & both of them lost vs BD in Asia cup. No doubt BD is a minnow in Tests. But how long can top sides mention their defeat vs BD as fluke? After 2012, it's too lame to say such thing for One-day format.

Posted by   on (January 2, 2013, 12:08 GMT)

childish attitude form BD Cricket, on the field and now off the field too. Pakistan should consider the bilateral relations with Bangladash as Pakistan had support them many times in cricket history. Pakistan should invite West Indies for tour.

Posted by reality_check on (January 2, 2013, 11:01 GMT)

@kuasa. Only difference is that BCB made a written committment to tour ONLY after they were satisfied with the security arrangements. Now they want to back off from their own committment. No one forced them to agree to tour. Bangladesh cricket is a joke, on the field and off the field. PCB should not allow a single player to participate in BPL. Let them buy players from Kenya to play.

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