bangladesh cricket, pakistan cricket
Bangladesh have agreed to tour Pakistan in 2013. -Photo by AFP

DHAKA: Bangladesh have agreed in principle to tour Pakistan and become the first team to play international cricket there since an attack on Sri Lanka's team bus nearly four years ago, officials said Monday.

Pakistan have had to play their 'home' matches in venues ranging from Dubai to London ever since gunmen shot dead eight people and wounded seven Sri Lankan players in an audacious attack near the stadium in Lahore in March 2009.

But their exile status now looks set to end as early as January 12 after the Bangladeshi board (BCB) said it would take up an invitation to play two games in Lahore, as long as there were no last-minute objections on security grounds.

“We have in principle agreed to tour Pakistan. It's a commitment made by former BCB president Mustafa Kamal. We are keeping his word,” Enayet Husain Siraj, the board's head of cricket operations, told AFP.

“The tour is subject to security clearance,” he added.

Bangladesh had also accepted an invitation to tour Pakistan last April for a short limited-over series but the Dhaka High Court blocked the tour on security grounds.

Officials have said they see no judicial bar this time.

Jalal Yunus, a spokesman for the BCB, said the board on Sunday night received a security plan from their counterparts in Pakistan, which would be discussed before signing off on the tour.

“We'll sit with our stakeholders including players and concerned government officials very soon,” he told AFP.

Yunus said Pakistan had proposed two matches to take place in Lahore from January 12-13, one of which would be a 50-over international game and the other a Twenty20 contest.

Pakistani cricketers are hugely popular in Bangladesh and 20 of them -- including stars such as big-hitting Shahid Afridi and the spinner Saeed Ajmal -- played in the inaugural edition of the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) last year.

The second edition of the BPL is due to begin next month, days after the Pakistan tour.

But according to a Monday report by the cricket website, ESPNcricinfo, Pakistan will only give its cricketers clearance to play in the tournament if Bangladesh goes ahead with the tour.

A Pakistani board official told the website that the “onus is on Bangladesh now”, insisting that “we are committed to give them the best security”. In October Pakistan successfully hosted two Twenty20 exhibition matches involving a group of largely retired stars from South Africa, the West Indies, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan.

Pakistan are due to play two Twenty20 games in India later this month and three 50-over matches in the first series between the two neighbours in five years.

More From This Section

I cannot work with players punished for fixing: Latif

“Any players suspected or punished in the past have no business working for the PCB in any capacity.”

‘Club v country’ debate comes to Pakistan

It is an issue very common in the world of football. And now, it has come to Pakistan.

Shahnaz, Manzoor Junior likely to get head coach, chief selector

Olympians Islahuddin and Shahbaz Senior are also expected to be inducted into the PHF Executive Board.

“I have no security concerns in Pakistan,” says ACC chief

Ashraful Haque said there efforts are underway to convince smaller Asian nations to tour Pakistan.

Comments are closed.

Comments (24)

December 17, 2012 11:50 am
No friendship with Pakistan.We have not forgotten 1971
December 17, 2012 3:56 pm
Bangladesh had also accepted an invitation to tour Pakistan last April for a short limited-over series but the Dhaka High Court blocked the tour on security grounds. O really Dawn had previously reported that the blockage was due to the BCB chairman's selfish decision and that he had not consulted for the tour
akil akhtar
December 17, 2012 10:45 pm
well said, but the problem is these hyper nationalists do not see the trunk in their eyes..
akil akhtar
December 17, 2012 10:46 pm
Agree, it is a low quality team which does not deserve test status which they got because of Pakistans support also.
December 17, 2012 5:04 pm
Remember 1971... Dont forget your entry into the international cricket
December 17, 2012 10:33 am
Who has given them the guarantee of life this time. God himself ?
December 17, 2012 8:18 pm
One must be ashamed of mixing sport with politics
December 17, 2012 10:04 am
If they can renege on a written commitment, then agreeing in principle does not mean anything. In any case, most Pakistanis believe that this tour (if it happens) will not change anything. I cant see people queuing up at the stadiums to watch Bangladesh play!
Naveed HRitom
December 17, 2012 11:02 am
Nothing Would Be So Better If A Brother Helpes Another.But need to to do this before. But no matter,now it's happening.
December 17, 2012 5:01 pm
Bangaladesh must not forget how they came into international cricket..... the greatest sin in this world is ...lacking gratitude
December 17, 2012 6:31 pm
Please don't accept the invitation, we all know that they trade 'something' for some favors, like we helped them in getting test cap (by losing to them in 99 world cup earlier rounds). Being Pakistani i believe we are still not secure enough for international teams, even if this tour is success what good will it do? Zimbabwe would be next to visit us?? its clear that no other respectable test playing nation is coming in near future!! and for the game.... Bangladesh is as useless to the game as they were some 10 years ago, total worthless and no improvement/ desire to improve their cricketing can be spotted. So, in nutshell, non exciting matches (unless Pakistan decides to return the favor), poor cricket (as usual by Bangladesh) and on top of it, big security question mark!!! Nay, don't put us in a spot please...
Saad (DXB)
December 17, 2012 12:50 pm
We haven't forgotten the Mukti Bahni goons slaughtering and skinnging Pakstani Soldiers and Biharis either
Reality Check Please?
December 17, 2012 12:56 pm
PCB, Pakistan Govt, Pakistani Military, Police and Intelligence were caught NAPPING when the attacks happened against SL as they ALL believed that the Terrorists would not target Sports! How wrong they were.....these guys are immoral retards! Cricket should continue with Real & Fool Proof Security as it did after Mumbai Attack as I believe England was playing a series in India!
Farooq Mughal
December 18, 2012 3:22 am
Why are we taking so match pain to invite a team no one interested in watching play. Who would go watch BD playing. We have to be patient, security situation will get better once US leave Afghanistan, will take about two years, only then we should invite, but real teams like India, England, Australia.
December 18, 2012 5:51 am
I have to say most of the comments left here are senseless. Come on guys grow up!!! This is about will be good for Bangladesh to visit Pakistan to play cricket. Don't worry a nice crowd will turn up. I wish them the best of luck!! Everything will be fine.
December 17, 2012 1:11 pm
Yes attendance should not be an issue when we talk about the countries you mentioned. For some matches people will come, for others they wont. But in the context of a cricket mad country like Pakistan where people have been starved of international cricket for years now, attendance is and should be an issue.
Saad (DXB)
December 17, 2012 7:02 pm
They weren't sleeping.. Most of the policemen were busy for the VIP duty at and around the Governor House that day, since Salman Taseer was holding a meeting of his party members. This is on record.
December 17, 2012 1:30 pm
Yes England was touring during 26/11. I believe that the attacks on SL team was a very good covert action from the authorities on the other side in response to mumbai attacks - a successful one that left the nation starved of their beloved game. The only way Bangladesh will tour Pakistan is on a condition that they lose the upcoming away series and protect the humiliated bleed blue and captain cool from being axed
December 17, 2012 1:32 pm
Bangladeshis love their country and hate Pakistan.Yesterday was our victory day over Pakistan.India and Pakistan should fight each other and leave Bangladesh alone
December 17, 2012 11:41 am
People talk about attendance unless your biased or something have you guys forgotten about that India-England test matches? lots of gaps in the seats, West-Indies-New matches? hardly any crowd same at the Gabba etc so crowd issue is a problem for all teams so quit whining.
December 17, 2012 12:14 pm
As a Pakistani I feel bad in my stomach for Bangladeshis. Allah reham karey.
December 22, 2012 10:00 am
Bangladesh is improving...everyone is noticing...htey won against Westindies at ODI's series and they deserve to be in international cricket...many other teams debuted side-by-side with them(kenya,canada,ireland,usa,....) cant you see the difference... Pakistanis.... wont be able to rest this time... Wish both teams ..LUCK.. and the best will win :)
December 22, 2012 10:02 am and all the paKI comments are mixing Cricket wit Politics...Senseless
December 22, 2012 10:06 am
Cricket isn't about gratitude....ask your team why didn't they win the match...useless fools...
Explore: Indian elections 2014
Explore: Indian elections 2014
How much do you know about Indian Elections?
How much do you know about Indian Elections?
From The Newspaper