Sports info

BCB standing firm on Pak tour next month

The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) CEO Nizamuddin Chowdhury yesterday said that the board were standing firm on its stance of playing the two Tests of a scheduled Pakistan tour next month at a neutral venue, a day after Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ehsan Mani declared that there was ‘absolutely no doubt’ Pakistan would play all home series in the country going forward.

“We stand firm on our ground. We only want to play T20Is in Pakistan. The stakeholders related to the series do not want us to play longer-version cricket in Pakistan,” Nizamuddin told The Daily Star yesterday.

“Actually, we have no other option here. We can play the T20Is but if we are to play Tests then it should be in a neutral venue.”

Another BCB source revealed that the decision of playing Tests in Pakistan also depended on how the players find the situation when on tour for a short T20I series.

“It also depends on how the players take it. I think they need to see for themselves how it goes for a T20I series and then they need to want to stay for a longer period. Even Sri Lanka and West Indies had toured Pakistan for T20I series first before Sri Lanka decided to play Tests,” said the BCB source.

Before the recent two-Test series between Pakistan and Sri Lanka, there has not been any Test cricket in Pakistan since a Sri Lanka team bus was attacked by terrorists in 2009 in Lahore.

The PCB Chairman Mani had also said that he would not hesitate to go to International Cricket Council (ICC) if a team refuses to travel without proper reason.

“We would absolutely have the right to dispute such a decision with the ICC. I don’t want to say too much, because our discussions with the BCB are ongoing. When they formally tell us what decision they’ve taken, we’ll see what we need to do,” Mani said.

However, countering that, the BCB source also mentioned that when it comes to bilateral series discussions, the ICC actually has very little influence over the matter.

“We were a bit surprised with the BCB chairman’s comments because in any bilateral series, the ICC have very little to do in terms of involvement. Since communications are ongoing with the PCB, it would be better if he would abstain from making such comments,” a BCB official, seeking annoymity said.

However, the official also added that they have strong reasons not to consider the Test this time around.