Cricket

No clarity on Pakistan tour

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International cricket has stayed away from Pakistan ever since a dozen gunmen ambushed the Sri Lankan team bus at Lahore during a Test in March 2009.

The Sri Lankan cricketers had a miraculous escape but eight Pakistanis, including security personnel and civilians, were shot dead on that fateful day, which whipped up memories of the 1972 Munich Olympics massacre, in which Palestinian terrorists killed Israeli athletes.

Since then Pakistan has adopted the United Arab Emirates as its home base for hosting international matches and then a glimmer of hope arrived from the Bangladesh Cricket Board. BCB president Mustafa Kamal, who is also the Asian Cricket Council president and ICC president-elect, visited Pakistan recently.

Kamal's delegation accessed security issues ahead of Bangladesh's proposed tour of Pakistan in April to play three One-Day Internationals.

Security appraisal

However, the tour now remains a matter of conjecture as Kamal, who spoke to the media here on Monday, said playing in Pakistan was subject to the security appraisal being written by his team, the ICC's approval and above all the authorisation order from the Government of Bangladesh.

The ICC's latest diktat that it is open to a bilateral series in which home umpires can officiate further angered Kamal, who shot back:

“If the ICC will not take responsibility and will not send match referees, neutral umpires and other officials, the team (Bangladesh) will not go. We also have a responsibility towards our team.”

The BCB president said he was sympathetic to the plight of Pakistan but added many riders to it. “I am the president of the BCB and also the president of the ACC and in that sense I have a dual responsibility and yes I do want cricket to happen in Pakistan but it all depends on many issues — security, the ICC's views and government approval. The discussions are on and in a short time we will announce our decision,” Kamal said.

Criticism

The tour of Pakistan continues to hang in the balance and Tim May, the chief executive of the Federation of International Cricketers Association, has criticised the ICC's move to not send its match officials to Pakistan if the series happens.

“The ICC should be doing its utmost to convince the two Boards to postpone the series and not contemplate whether to amend its own rules to give the series ‘official endorsement',” May said.

Meanwhile, Kamal refused to comment on the selection squabble over Bangladesh opener Tamim Iqbal. “I will make my views known after the Asia Cup,” he said.

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Printable version | Dec 10, 2019 4:42:29 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/no-clarity-on-pakistan-tour/article2988641.ece

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