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Mushfiqur Rahim has confirmed that he will not be travelling to Pakistan. His family's concern made the decision for him, he said, and he will not be playing in any of the three legs of Bangladesh's upcoming series in Pakistan.*
He had turned down a Pakistan Super League (PSL) contract for the same reason, Rahim said. "I have already said I wouldn't go to Pakistan. I have decided it long ago and informed the board. I have submitted a letter too. My family is worried, and they don't want me to go.
"There's no bigger sin for me than not playing for Bangladesh. But I had denied an offer to play in the PSL after knowing that the tournament will be entirely held in Pakistan. My family didn't agree with it."
Bangladesh's tour to Pakistan was confirmed on January 14, after much negotiation between the PCB and BCB. While the BCB had initially said it would only tour Pakistan for T20Is but not for the scheduled Tests due to its security concerns, the two boards eventually drew up a plan by which Bangladesh visit Pakistan over three legs - first, for three T20Is between January 24 and 27, then for the first Test from February 7 to 11, and finally for one ODI and one more Test between April 3 and 9.
Rahim did not rule out playing in Pakistan in the future. "I agree that things have improved in Pakistan, but I will gain confidence when I see teams going there for the next two years," he said. "I have been to Pakistan before, it is a great place to play cricket."
The Bangladesh T20I squad, for the three-match series starting on January 24, is likely to be announced on Saturday.
*03.30GMT: This story was updated with Mushfiqur Rahim's quotes