Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) president Nazmul Hassan has said that the national team won’t tour Pakistan for a Test series right now due to heightening tensions in the Middle East.
Nazmul’s comments come after he confirmed that Bangladesh will only be willing to travel to Pakistan for a three-match Twenty20 series.
Tensions in the Middle East have skyrocketed after the United States killed Qasem Soleimani, who was the Major General of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, in Baghdad, Iraq.
Iran subsequently shot down a Ukrainian passenger jet that resulted in the deaths of all 176 people on board.
With all this in mind, Nazmul noted that it the Bangladesh government had ordered the BCB to keep the national team’s tour of Pakistan short.
“Taking a government order is regular practice ahead of any tour, and this has been the same for touring Pakistan,” he was quoted as saying by PakPassion. “We shared the schedule of the full series with the agencies and their observation has been that the situation in the Middle East is different.
“Considering the escalating tension in the particular region, they have advised us to hold the shortest tour possible. They have advised us to play the three T20Is within the shortest possible time, and then to go for the Test series at a different time.
“We are going to communicate the same thing to the PCB once we receive the letter from the government.
“It is tough to go beyond a government order. We also want to see international cricket get back to Pakistan. It is a significant development for them that national teams from Sri Lanka and West Indies have already toured the country. But, at this moment for us only a short tour is possible.
“The things that are happening in Middle East have no certainty. We understand that a fool-proof security arrangement will be in place for us, but things are happening despite security. The best of intelligence is not being able to stop occurrences. Anything can happen at any time, but still we are fine with touring Pakistan.
“When the ICC Test Championship was planned, we all knew the matches were to be played at a neutral venue [UAE]. But that has changed. Now, they are hosting matches in Pakistan. We need to see if other teams such as England, Australia and others will tour Pakistan for Test Championship matches.
“I am travelling to Dubai tomorrow [Monday] for an ICC meeting and I will try to find out what is actually happening or what is to happen if these matches [Tests] are not played.”