Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) President Mustafa Kamal has vehemently denied that his decision to go ahead with the Pakistan tour was due to a ‘personal interest’ and stressed that the step has been taken to keep relations intact between the two nations while helping the sport in the region.
Kamal, who confirmed a short tour to Pakistan without informing BCB directors, added that the series will go ahead only if the International Cricket Council (ICC) gave it a thumbs-up on the security situation in Lahore where the One-Day International (ODI) and Twenty20 will take place.
The BCB chief has come under scathing criticism for his ‘independent’ decision, which has been said to have been taken ‘out of personal interest’, but Kamal fended off the reaction, saying that the tour confirmation came since he ‘had full confidence in the board directors’.
“It’s correct that I didn’t inform them about the tour,” Kamal told Bangladesh’ s New Age. “But that’s because I have total faith that I can convince them. I don’t think our board of directors will disapprove if the ICC is satisfied with Pakistan’s security and that’s why I did not say anything earlier.”
‘Tour to help keep good relations’
While some quarters have said that the short tour will not benefit Pakistan in reviving full-fledged international cricket in the country, Kamal said that the matches will help in keeping intact the good relations with the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).
“It’s a goodwill tour and will help them bring back cricket in their region. But it’s also important for us. From our point of view, we can have players of their country take part in our domestic competitions which will help our cricketers improve their game. It would be difficult to bring players from other countries because it won’t be cost effective. So it is important that we tour because ultimately we can have a good relationship with them.”
Kamal also denied reports that an understanding had been reached, which would see the PCB back his nomination to the post of ICC vice-presidency and in return tour Pakistan to help the revival of international cricket.
“The tour will also help Bangladesh cricket. I can assure you that no deal has been made that I will become the [ICC] vice-president and in return Bangladesh will tour Pakistan. If any such thing happens and is leaked out, then that would be disgraceful for both boards.”
‘Coaches will go’
Meanwhile, Kamal added that Stuart Law, who will quit as Bangladesh coach in June, will travel with the team to Pakistan amid concerns that the Australian was reluctant due to security issues.
“As far as I know, the coaches will go. Dav Whatmore and Julien Fountain are also present in Pakistan and if that is not a safe place then how are they staying over there. So it will not be an issue to convince them.”
“A few changes may be made after mutual consent of the selection committee and the team management. The two fixtures are also important because it’s always crucial for a team to win in front of its home crowd.”
“We’re thankful to the BCB and I request the Punjab and federal governments to play their role to make the tour successful. Hopefully, this Bangladesh tour will break the ice on drought of international matches here.”
Published in The Express Tribune, April 19th, 2012.
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