The wait is nearing its end.
Bangladesh’s tour of Pakistan looks unlikely with each passing day but an announcement is imminent with chiefs of both boards coming face-to-face in Dubai this weekend for the International Cricket Council (ICC) board meeting.
According to officials, Zaka Ashraf will meet Mustafa Kamal on the sidelines of the meeting. Developments in the last few weeks suggest that Bangladesh is reluctant to send its team in the absence of neutral officials which the ICC has refused to send to Pakistan. Reports emerged on Wednesday that Kamal had called off the tour and had informed the ICC of this decision. The ICC, however, confirmed to The Express Tribune that no such information had been passed on to them.
“The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) remains optimistic about the Bangladesh tour and the chairman will try to convince Kamal again,” said a PCB official who added that the matter of allowing home officials for the series will also be discussed during the meeting.
Last month’s chief executive committee meeting agreed to allow local officials for the series if there existed security apprehensions over sending neutral officials. The CEC had recommended the matter to the ICC for approval.
Meanwhile, Ashraf ruled out inviting other Test teams during the ICC meeting.
“We already spoke to other boards and the Bangladesh tour is significant in this regard.”
However, as per reports, the PCB will ask associate members to tour Pakistan after recently hosting a British universities’ side successfully.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 13th, 2012.