LAHORE: Bangladesh have agreed to play three Twenty20 Internationals, two Tests and a solitary One-day International in Pakistan, but with the tour two be divided into three phases, the Pakistan Cricket Board announced Tuesday.

The announcement came after a meeting — facilitated by ICC chairman Shashank Manohar on the sidelines of the body’s Governance Review Committee meeting in Dubai — which saw PCB chairman Ehsan Mani and Bangladesh Cricket Board president Nazmul Hassan reach a consensus.

The tour will begin with the T20 series to be played at Lahore’s Gaddafi Stadium from January 24 to 27. Bangladesh will fly out after the series before returning for the first Test in Rawalpindi from February 7-11. The third phase of the tour will see the Tigers fly again to Pakistan, after the completion of the Pakistan Super League, to play an ODI in Karachi on April 3 followed by the second Test at the same venue from April 5.

“I am pleased that we have amicably achieved a resolution that is in the best interest of this great sport as well as both the proud cricket playing countries. I also want to thank ICC Chairman Shaskank Manohar for the leadership he provided and ensured the sport continues to grow and thrive in the two countries,” Mani was quoted as saying in a PCB press release.

PCB Chief Executive Wasim Khan, who also attended the meeting at the ICC headquarters said it was a ‘win-win outcome for both the boards’.

ICC facilitates meeting between PCB and BCB

“I am glad that the uncertainty around the series is now over and we can start planning for the smooth delivery of the matches. Bangladesh will visit Pakistan thrice, which should give them the comfort that Pakistan is as safe and secure as any other cricket playing country,” Wasim added.

“The split series across three venues will also provide opportunities to fans and followers to watch live their favourite players in action and support good cricket from either side.”

The tour, scheduled in the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) Future Tours Programme, was in a limbo, with the BCB demanding the Tests — part of the ICC Test Championship — to be played at neutral venues, citing security concerns. BCB president Nazmul, on Sunday, also said the country’s government has advised the cricket team to not stay in Pakistan for more than 6-7 days.

However, after Tuesday’s meeting, Nazmul expressed pleasure over what he said was a ‘mutually acceptable resolution’.

“I must thank the PCB for understanding our position. We are pleased that a mutually acceptable resolution has been reached and this is a prime example our sincere efforts at respecting the ICC FTP commitments,” the BCB chief was quoted as saying by a prominent cricket website.

The BCB will bear the travelling expenses of all the three visits of its team to Pakistan, while the solitary ODI will be an opportunity for the PCB to gain extra financial benefits.

Two more Tests at home — after Sri Lanka visited for as many in November-December — will also give Pakistan a chance to boost their prospects in the ICC Test Championship. Pakistan are currently placed fourth in the table with 80 points in four matches.

Sri Lanka too played the first Test in Rawalpindi but the match could only witness hardly two days of play. The city is known for its unpredictable weather which poses the threat of another important match being washed out when Bangladesh visit.

However, according to a PCB spokesman, the board hopes February will offer better cricket-playing conditions and action will be seen across five full days.

Tour schedule:

Jan 24: First T20 International (Lahore).

Jan 25: Second T20 International (Lahore).

Jan 27: Third T20 International (Lahore).

Feb 7-11: First Test (Rawalpindi).

April 3: Only One-day International (Karachi).

April 5-9: Second Test (Karachi).

Published in Dawn, January 15th, 2020