Wasim Akram. – File Photo

KARACHI: Legendary paceman Wasim Akram Tuesday hailed Bangladesh's decision to tour Pakistan next month, saying it was an important step on the road to reviving international cricket in the country.

Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) Monday said it has agreed in principle to tour Pakistan to restore international cricket, which has been suspended since militant attacks on the Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore in March 2009.

BCB spokesman Jalal Yunus told AFP in Dhaka that Pakistan had proposed a one-day international and a Twenty20 game to be played in Lahore on January 12 and 13.

“It's a welcome decision and I hope that the tour takes place as agreed because Pakistan badly needs international cricket and one series will convince other countries to tour,” Wasim told reporters.

Bangladesh had accepted an invitation to tour Pakistan in 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.

“Pakistan badly needs international cricket and I fear that if this suspension continues for another two (or) three years then it will affect the standard of Pakistan cricket,” said Wasim, Pakistan's all-time top Test wicket-taker.

“I think the overall security situation in Pakistan is improving and if we put in place the best arrangements for the Bangladesh series then other teams will also follow suit,” he said.

But the Pakistan Cricket Board has been cautious over the prospects of Bangladesh touring, with president Zaka Ashraf telling local media negotiations were under way, but if a series took place, it would be in January.

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