Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Shaharyar Khan has attempted to revive the board’s frosty relationship with the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB).
Khan recently travelled to Bangladesh in an attempt to convince them to visit Pakistan and bring international cricket back to the country for the first time since March 2009.
“This time I have come, very simply, to renew cordial and cooperative relations between Bangladesh and Pakistan on the cricket front,” Khan said. “We have had a good relationship in the past. We will be inviting them to come to Pakistan. We understand that security situation is a hurdle in the way of your national team, or any other team, visiting Pakistan.
“But let me say, that the security situation is much, much better. Tomorrow when I meet your board I will give them some statistics that things have much improved in Pakistan. I now live in Lahore. No one feels the weight of terror attacks as they did six or seven years ago. It is much less than it was before. The army has gone in to clean up things in North Waziristan. I think things are looking up.”
While Khan is hoping that Bangladesh’s national team agree to travel to Pakistan, he is prepared to accept visits from the country’s lower-profile sides first.
“Even if the national team cannot come to Pakistan for security reasons, though I would ask them to send a team to examine how things are, I want to start cricket between two countries,” he said. “[It can be] at the level of A teams, Under-19s; send your schoolboys or the women’s side. We want to start at every level with Bangladesh. What could be better? They will get a very warm welcome. This is what I have come for, to revive and revitalise our relationship. I look forward to discussions with the BCB.”
While no cricket teams have expressed any desire to play in Pakistan, Khan is still clinging on to his ambition of hosting a tri-series.
“My expectation is that we will sit down and work out something in the future, which will start up the relationship at whatever level is convenient to Bangladesh,” he said. “We are ready to respond at all levels – best would be for the national team to come to us.
“Maybe we can even have a triangular. We look to Bangladesh to help us re-enter the cricketing field in the sense that, we are no longer playing at home in Pakistan. It is a big loss. We are playing Australia in Abu Dhabi, next against India in UAE. It is second best option. Maybe you play in some cities, not in others, that is also acceptable. So we want to start the ball rolling.”
BCB vice-president Mahbubul Anam has revealed that the board will have a meeting on Tuesday to discuss Khan’s propositions.
“We have an open agenda,” Anam said. “There’s no agenda for the meeting [with the PCB]. We feel that all countries of the ICC are friendly and supportive to Bangladesh. We will work towards improvement and development of cricket. When the matter will come for discussion, we will know about it. We cannot say anything at this stage. If we can arrange a tournament which matches our schedule and benefit, then definitely.”