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Pakistan going home

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Pakistan going home Empty Pakistan going home

Post by Adam D Mon 16 Apr 2012, 12:51 pm

"The PCB should have taken a firm stance with the BCB" : Asif Iqbal
By Amir Husain (16th April, 2012)

The recent joint communiqué by the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) and the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), announcing the schedule for a shortened 2 match tour of Pakistan by Bangladesh is set to open a new chapter in the history of Pakistani cricket.

Previously, all foreign tours to Pakistan by ICC member nations came to a sudden stop when the visiting Sri Lankan team became unfortunate victims of a terrorist attack in March 2009. Pakistan was thus forced to play all “home” series at neutral venues, pending an improvement in the security situation. It therefore stands to reason that the news that Bangladesh will become the first International team to visit Pakistan after 3 years is being received with great fanfare by the PCB and the passionate fans who are eager to watch International cricket in Pakistan.

Whilst, the resumption of foreign tours to Pakistan is a matter of great pride for Pakistan for which the BCB deserves a huge vote of thanks by the PCB, there are some who question the real motives around the shortened itinerary.

In exclusive remarks to, the former Captain of Pakistan Asif Iqbal, has expressed his displeasure as what he perceives as a disingenuous stand by the BCB in this matter.

“Make no mistake, the announcement of this tour is a positive development. However, as you know, the BCB and PCB had agreed on a full tour of Pakistan prior to the Asia Cup. This was to consist of Test and LOI matches. The proposed tour itinerary was drafted at the back end of negotiations which involved PCBs support for Mustafa Kamal’s nomination for the highest office in the ICC as well as a visit to Pakistan by a security delegation from the BCB. The security delegation was given assurances by the Pakistani Government at the highest levels and returned to Bangladesh satisfied with its findings. The final decision was referred to the Bangladeshi Government and at that time, there seemed to be no major impediments to this tour.”

“Once the unfortunate issue surrounding the Asia Cup final became known and I don’t want to go into that as I find that distasteful that the BCB had filed a complaint once the match was done and dusted, it seems that there was a change in attitude from the BCB and suddenly there were doubts being cast upon the feasibility of this tour.”

“The PCB should have taken a firm stance and told BCB in no uncertain terms that they should abide by their earlier decision. However, I do believe, and I can only go by media reports that a compromise was reached by using the leverage of Pakistan’s support for Mustafa Kamal’s appointment in ICC. This may have forced the BCB to consider a somewhat curtailed tour of Pakistan! If this is true then the tour schedule has been arranged for all the wrong reasons.”

Whilst the ICC has always maintained its position of neutrality on arrangement of tours based upon security considerations, Asif feels that the organization must take a firm view instead of “sitting on the fence”

“What I really find strange is that ICC on one hand say that they are happy with Pakistan and Bangladesh arranging this tour based upon mutual agreement but they will not provide officials for this tour due to security considerations. To me this stance is of no use. They should either approve of the tour, providing officials to give the tour legitimacy that it deserves or simply disapprove. They cannot sit on the fence!”

Many optimistic observers of the game in Pakistan will consider the arrival of a Bangladeshi squad on Pakistani shores as an important step towards the revival of International cricket in the country. Whilst the so called minnows or lesser able teams may consider touring Pakistan a possibility, It remains to be seen whether the Bangladesh tour will have any bearing on the position of the Big Three Boards in the shape of the ECB, CA and BCCI when it comes to resumption of tours to Pakistan. In Asif’s view, the refusal to tour Pakistan by these countries is based upon their own considerations and their position is unlikely to change in the near term.

“Bangladesh’s tour of Pakistan will have no bearing on the position of these [ECB, CA, BCCI] boards. They will only agree to tour Pakistan when their demands on security etc. are met – I don’t see that happening soon. In addition, let’s not forget that the ICC has to give its blessing to any tour of Pakistan. If they do, then it means that the security situation in Pakistan is fine – I don’t see them ever making that statement – at least not very soon. In the near future – say next 2-3 years - none of these three teams are likely to tour Pakistan”

Bangladesh are scheduled to play 1 ODI and 1 T20 game in Lahore on April 29th and April 30th respectively. The remaining part of the series, as mandated by ICC’s FTP program, will be scheduled at a later point after mutual consultation.

source -

Adam D

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