Bangladesh Backs Out Of Pakistan Tour Over Security Concerns
Bangladesh has shelved the first planned int'l cricket tour of Pakistan since an '09 terror attack on Sri Lanka's bus due to "safety grounds," according to the AFP. Bangladesh Cricket Board President Nazmul Hassan said that the proposed tour "had been put off indefinitely amid fears over players' safety, in the wake of protests and a Facebook campaign opposing the visit." Hassan: "Bangladesh will not visit Pakistan for now. We've made the decision after considering the overall security situation in Pakistan and the concern that our people have expressed over the safety of their players." Hassan said that Bangladesh had "informed the Pakistan board of its change of heart," and added that the team would visit Pakistan "if security improves." Hassan: "We've sent a letter to Pakistan three days ago explaining our position. We've decided to wait and see" (AFP, 12/31).
CRITICAL DECISION: The SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST reported Pakistan "criticised Bangladesh's decision" to abandon the planned cricket tour. Pakistan Cricket Board Chair Zaka Ashraf said that the decision was "inappropriate." Ashraf: "We never forced Bangladesh, but to say the security situation was not conducive is inappropriate because their own delegation was satisfied with arrangements." Ashraf said that the Pakistani government "had promised top-level security" (SCMP, 1/2).
ONGOING FEUD: The PTI reported the PCB is "furious," and hinted that it "will not release its players" for the '13 Bangladesh Pemier League set for later this month in Bangladesh. The PCB indicated in a statement that Bangladesh's refusal to send its team to Pakistan has "affected relations between the two boards." The statement said, "Now for the 2013 edition of BPL, we have to see the commitments and engagements of our players before releasing them for the tournament. To associate the release [of] the Pakistani players with Bangladesh tour to Pakistan does not hold any merit" (PTI, 1/1).