Pakistan’s wait to host an international cricket match on home soil is over, after the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB), agreed to play one ODI and Twenty20 International in the country.
Pakistan have not hosted an international cricket match since March 2009, when the Sri Lankan cricket team were attacked in Lahore by gunmen, which resulted in eight security personnel being killed and seven Sri Lankan squad members being injured.
BCB president, Mustafa Kamal, via a press release, said: “I am pleased to confirm the tour in which Bangladesh will play a one-day match on April 29 and a Twenty20 game the next day, both in Lahore.”
Pakistan have promised to provide fool-proof security for the team, after a delegation from Bangladesh visited the nation to assess the situation last month.
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman, Zaka Ashraf, has announced that the tour is a sign of good things to come.
“I am extremely pleased that Bangladesh has confirmed the tour. Obviously this is very important for us and we will leave no stone unturned to ensure that this tour takes place in a befitting manner,” he said.
All international teams have been avoiding Pakistan due to the security issues, and also because of the national army’s fight against militants.
Bangladesh were reluctant when the tour was first announced, and Ashraf even went as far as threatening to sever sporting ties between the two nations if Bangladesh refused to play in Pakistan.
Bangladesh were supposed to play a full tour in Pakistan according to the Futures Tour Programme (FTP), but, the remaining of the tour will be played at mutually agreed venues, which will include parts of Bangladesh as well.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) have demanded that Pakistan hand over a full security plan before any match officials would be sent into the country.
“The ICC Board were informed that the tour will take place and the Board, having due regard to its duty of care to match officials and other ICC staff, requested that the PCB to immediately provide a comprehensive security plan for consideration,” the ICC said.
“Thereafter, the ICC’s Anti Corruption and Security Unit will commission a localised risk assessment to determine whether its officials and staff are appropriately protected by the proposed security plan, before any further decision is taken in relation to their appointment,” the ICC added.
Last month, the ICC, announced that if it were found that Pakistan was unsafe for match officials, they would make an exceptional circumstance, where local match officials would be chosen.
Kamal, noted that the upcoming series will bring cricket back to the Pakistani people, who have waited over three years for this day to come.
“The public of Pakistan have been deprived of cricket and we felt that we needed to support them. The reception we received when we toured Lahore and Karachi on our security visit was overwhelming,” he said.
“This tour is taking place after 2009 and this short tour will hopefully demonstrate to the world that cricket should start taking place in Pakistan,” he added.