Bangladesh overcomes security fears to agree cricket tour of Pakistan

Shaheen Afridi of Pakistan shakes hands with Mustafizur Rahman and Mehidy Hasan of Bangladesh after victory in their Group Stage match of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 between Pakistan and Bangladesh at Lords on July 05, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images)

The Bangladesh Cricket Board has agreed to a tour of Pakistan this year, including test matches, after its concerns over security were allayed.

The Pakistan Cricket Board announced this week that the teams will play three T20 matches, a one-day international and two test matches. Reuters reported that the series is being split into three as part of security measures – the T20 matches will be in Lahore from January 24 to 27, the first test will be in Rawalpindi on February 7 to 11, and the ODI and second test will be in Karachi April 3 to 9.

Pakistan last month played its first home test matches since 2009, when there was an attack on the Sri Lanka team’s bus in Lahore. Last month’s matches were also against Sri Lanka. Top-class cricket matches are only now beginning to return to the country. The PCB’s T20 league, the Pakistan Super League, will take place in full in the country for the first time this year, after several years of hosting games in the United Arab Emirates. This year’s PSL will take place in between the second and third legs of the Bangladesh tour.

The BCB had initially indicated it would not play test matches in the country this time around, after advice from the Bangladesh government.

International Cricket Council chairman Shaskank Manohar took part in discussions between the two boards to help finalise the tour.

Welcoming the deal, PCB chief executive Wasim Khan said: “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.”

PCB chairman Ehsan Mani said: “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.”

BCB president Nazmul Hassan said: “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.”