Pakistan news March 19, 2012

Bilateral ties hinge on tour of Pakistan


The relationship between the PCB and the BCB is likely to suffer if Bangladesh do not go ahead with the proposed tour to Pakistan in April because of security concerns, ESPNcricinfo has learnt. An implicit deal had been reached by the two boards, according to which the PCB backed BCB president Mustafa Kamal as the nominee for the ICC vice-presidency and Bangladesh would tour Pakistan in 2012.

"Ultimately, its Bangladesh's loss if they don't send their team," Zaka Ashraf told ESPNcricinfo. "We are helping them and want to have a positive relationship not only with Bangladesh, but all the nations. We want to strengthen our relationship. We have been sending our players to feature in their leagues and we expect them to respect our positive approach, after all everything is on reciprocal basis."

The ICC executive board is set to consider Kamal's nomination as its next vice-president, and president in 2014 after Alan Isaac's term. And though there have been constant doubts over whether Bangladesh will tour Pakistan, the PCB is optimistic that the drought of international cricket in the country since the terror attacks on the Sri Lankan team in March 2009 will come to an end.

ESPNcricinfo understands that the BCB, despite being satisfied by the proposed security arrangements for the tour to Pakistan, is seeking some support from other countries, but none has been forthcoming. A nine-member delegation, headed by Kamal, had been sent on a two-day visit to Pakistan to observe a demonstration of the security plan for the series, and Kamal had said he was positive about the tour going ahead.

The ICC, however, introduced a special dispensation to be made in exceptional circumstances in order to ensure bilateral series take place even if the ruling body determined it unsafe to appoint its officials for such series. It would allow such series to be manned by "non-neutral match officials."

Kamal then put the future of the tour in doubt by saying, "We won't go if everything doesn't happen within the standard practice, which is the allocation of match-referees, umpires and all things by the ICC."

While the PCB did not respond to Kamal's comments, a board official said the BCB was being leaned on by another country. "We are informed of a third-country pressure on BCB," a PCB official told ESPNcricinfo. "We understand most of the member boards aren't keen to support our move, but we are very much clear of what would be required to give Bangladesh the confidence to come to Pakistan. And we did exactly what we have to do - we have engaged the government at the superior level to satisfy Bangladesh with the security arrangements."

Since the attacks, Pakistan have played their home bilateral series at offshore venues such as New Zealand, England and the UAE but the PCB saw no commercial advantage in hosting Bangladesh at such venues. The PCB chairman Zaka Ashraf, who will be in Dhaka for the end of the Asia Cup, will make a final attempt to allay any doubts Bangladesh might have. The PCB also ruled out the possibility of talks with the BCCI. "There's no use of asking India any further," Ashraf said. "Their board doesn't want to play us and that's clearly understood."

Edited by George Binoy

Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on March 21, 2012, 18:15 GMT

    Mr. CricIndia208, we win 70% matches than india! in your india we beat ur team 18 times out of 27. Indian cricket team can not cross pakistan wins over india in next 500 years. when ever record of india pakistan cricket checked on website. you are very below than us. in test we win 12 and you just 9. in ODI we win 70 and you just 47. so sad ohhhhhhhhhhhhh. plz dnt cry. and try to

  • Mohsin on March 21, 2012, 17:04 GMT

    BCCI is playing its cards very well. Bangla pulls out of Pak tour, Pak pulls out of BPL, India sends players to BPL and accept few Bangla players in IPL. Win for Bangla, win for India and a big loss for Pakistan. However, in this narrow minded approach Cricket suffers. Seems BCCI has a vision to restrict cricket within India. A very shameful episode in the name of player safety. Wake up Banga, don't be pawn in the hands of BCCI

  • Dummy4 on March 21, 2012, 16:24 GMT

    i have been reading all the articles and comments, well i just wanna ask all the members just one simple question here. Why there is an issue for Every Cricket Team(only) to visit and play in Pakistan? where, on the same hand all other games and events likes of Kabadi, Snooker championship, Car Rally, hockey and etc are being organized successfully and players from all across the world including (India) are visiting Pakistan time to time and they take away good memories and positives after visiting Pakistan. So why there always is a (?) for Cricket only? any good and logical reason behind that?

  • Abdul on March 21, 2012, 15:45 GMT

    Being a Pakistani; I have a strong belief that our Govt(especially of Punjab) and PCB are responsible for the downfall of game in Pakistan. But, if Bangladeshi feel that they are free of a Dictation from BCCI; they are just fooling themselves.

  • V.L on March 21, 2012, 15:32 GMT

    "We are informed of a third-country pressure on BCB," . You have problem blame somebody else. Typical PCB. If you are so confident about your security why does no other team visit Pakistan. Last time I checked England and Aus don't side with India! Why are they scared. Pakistan should learn to accept the ground realities before taking a dig at BCCI or India!

  • Cricket on March 21, 2012, 14:11 GMT

    From the way the pak authorities have been conductiong themselves in the last 2 years or so, i do not think that the intertionational cricket community will be keen in bringing cricket back to Pakistan. Their handling of the spot fixing saga was pathetic and thiat is puting it mildly. The ICC had to step in because they refused to initiate any proceeding against the tainted trio. Also Kamran Akmal's case has been too blatant to hide. and now Nasir Jamshed and Wahab Riaz are iin the team even though these guys had thoroghly disqualified themselves and brough ill repute to the game. Even other selections of the team are of doublfull nature. good plyaers are languishing while some surprisingly bad players are getting too many opportunities.

  • Dummy4 on March 21, 2012, 12:47 GMT

    pakistan players are nt even allowed in IPL, BPL is a standing platform for them. And for the people who thinks pakistani players did all the scores in BPL, here is a little info: Australian west indian and sri lankan players were also in the list, bt they had int'l games to worry abt, hence cudnt come to BPL. maybe next season they will be in bangladesh. So stop saying pakistan did a HUGE favour to BPL.

  • Dru on March 21, 2012, 11:36 GMT

    I think everyone wants cricket to return to Pakistan but arent there serious security concerns in Pakistan. I also dont get these heavy handed tactics on Bangledesh - they should only tuour if its safe - surely that's not up for debate and if the ICC dont want to send their officials how can Bangledesh be expected to send the team. They must play in the UAE and be done with it rather than take unneccessary risks.

  • V.L on March 21, 2012, 11:32 GMT

    Its not our board that does not want to play Pakistan. Its our government. I for one would love to see politics being left out of cricket. We Indian fans crave for nothing more than and India vs Pakistan full series with a min of 3 tests 5 ODIs and 3 T20s. Hopefully it will happen soon! India also has no say in the Pak vs Bangladesh issue. ICC is the one calling the shots. However I do feel touring Pakistan right now is risky. ICC has demanded a full report of Lahore attacks about 3 years ago,but the Pakistanis are yet to submit it till date on the pretext of obtining "clearance" from the government! Who is to blame?

  • Satish on March 21, 2012, 10:44 GMT

    Improve your security and show it to the visitors and the ICC to convince them.. What can any third country do in case everything is right in your side? It seems very kiddish to blame the third country for each and everything and some sorts of fashion for the supposed to be hosts..

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