DHAKA (Reuters) - Bangladesh are unlikely to tour Pakistan next month due to security concerns, despite making a commitment to do so at an International Cricket Council (ICC) meeting in October.
Pakistan Cricket Board Chairman Zaka Ashraf said on December 21 the BCB had confirmed a visit in January, which would have made Bangladesh the first international side to tour Pakistan since armed militants attacked the Sri Lanka team bus in Lahore in 2009.
Eight Pakistanis were killed and six Sri Lanka players were wounded when gunmen fired on their coach as they were being driven to a stadium in Lahore.
“We have made a commitment to travel to Pakistan. But still there are some concerns,” said Bangladesh Cricket Board President Nazmul Hasan at news conference on Monday.
”We have noticed the security situation in Pakistan has not improved significantly, rather deteriorated. In this circumstance, we think it will not be very wise to tour.
“We have conveyed our decision to Pakistan already. We are observing the situation. If the situation improves we will keep our commitment.”
Nazmul added that it was a very difficult decision for them to make.
“We have made a commitment to travel to Pakistan. It was even in the minutes of an ICC meeting that we will go even if it does not provide the match officials,” he said.
“So it was almost mandatory for us. But we believe that the security of players and officials are the most important thing.”
Bangladesh had agreed to send a team to Pakistan in April this year to play a Twenty20 match and one-day international in Lahore.
However, the Dhaka High Court issued a restraining order stopping Bangladesh from playing in Pakistan due to security concerns.
The BCB president added that they were ready to face possible repercussions from Pakistan, who are determined to bring international cricket back to the country.
“We are aware that Pakistan will not be happy with our decision. They might not send players in our domestic cricket, may not cooperate us in many other fields and we have to accept it,” he said.
Afzalur Rahman Sinha, a BCB member and chairman of Bangladesh Premier League governing council chairman, said the Twenty20 tournament would go ahead even if Pakistan does not allow its players to take part.
More than 50 Pakistani players were auctioned for the second edition of the league earlier this month, but media reports suggested Pakistan would not allow its players to take part unless Bangladesh decided to tour.
“We believe no one is indispensable. The tournament will go ahead if even if Pakistani players don’t come,” he said.
Editing by Peter Rutherford