Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Former Pakistan captain Ramiz Raja has lashed out at Bangladesh over their refusal to play a Test series in Pakistan and called on the International Cricket Council (ICC) to take action against them.
Ramiz’s comments come after Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) president Nazmul Hassan said that the national team won’t play the Test series due to increasing tensions in the Middle East.
Nazmul added that Bangladesh is ready to play a three-match Twenty20 series, and is willing to reschedule the two-Test series to a later date.
However, Ramiz questioned what the current problems in the Middle East have to do with touring Pakistan.
“I don’t understand how Bangladesh can refuse to play Test match in Karachi and Rawalpindi due to tensions in the Middle East. If that’s the case then situation in all of Asia isn’t great, so cricket shouldn’t happen in Asia at all,” Ramiz said in a YouTube video as quoted by Cricket Pakistan.
“Similarly, there is knife rage on streets in England and bushfires in Australia, so this logic of Bangladesh baffles me as Pakistan government has made it clear that they will remain neutral as far Middle East tensions are concerned.”
“I think ICC should intervene in this matter. They had sent their umpires and match officials to Pakistan which means they consider Pakistan safe. Pakistan has assured Bangladesh that they will be provided with presidential level security. Sri Lanka also praised the security provided to them during the recent Test series in Pakistan.
“Asian bloc needs to step forward and help Pakistan. Ground reality with regards to security situation in Pakistan is completely different as opposed to Bangladesh’s perception. They should have considered ground realities and should have made a better decision.”
The BCB’s decision came after the board held a meeting on Sunday to decide what to do about the tour of Pakistan.
The board had been considering three options – only play three Twenty20 Internationals, play one Test and the three Twenty20 Internationals or take up the PCB’s latest offer where Bangladesh would play the two Tests first and reschedule the Twenty20 series for a later date.
Bangladesh are scheduled to tour Pakistan for two Tests and three Twenty20 Internationals in January and February.