Pakistan news January 11, 2013

Pakistan players' BPL stints in doubt

Zaka Ashraf, the PCB chairman, said Pakistan players would play in the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) but indicated that their presence could depend on the BCB agreeing to a tour of Pakistan.

The BPL is scheduled to begin on January 18 and several Pakistan players were sold at its auction last month. Their participation, however, could hinge on the BCB's response to Ashraf's comments. There has been a lot of talk of Bangladesh touring Pakistan but with security continuing to be a concern, there have been no concrete steps forward.

"Bangladesh almost toured Pakistan but at the last moment they pulled out over the security concern and I don't want to repeat this again," Ashraf said at the unveiling of the Pakistan Super League in Lahore. "We can't send our players like this, as Bangladesh have an agreement to fulfill. If they decide to come Pakistan and play then we will consider supporting and favoring them [in this matter]."

The BPL also clashes with the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy, Pakistan's premier first-class event, and the PCB said it wouldn't be fair to disrupt the players' commitments to their teams.

The PCB and BCB have been discussing a short Bangladesh tour to Pakistan since 2011, but have faced hurdles. A proposed tour in April 2012 was postponed because of an order from a Dhaka court, and another proposal for a tour in January this year was rejected by the BCB on security grounds. Pakistan have not hosted international cricket since the 2009 terror attacks on the Sri Lanka team bus and have played all their home matches at off-shore venues such as England and the UAE.

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent