Bangladesh tour of Pakistan: So much for that, then

Published: April 20, 2012

A Pakistani labourer works at the Gaddafi Cricket stadium in Lahore on April 17, 2012. PHOTO: AFP

A Pakistani labourer works at the Gaddafi Cricket stadium in Lahore on April 17, 2012. PHOTO: AFP The PCB, which was working at full throttle in finalising arrangements ahead of the matches against Bangladesh, has been irked by the postponement of the tour and reacted strongly at the turn of events. PHOTOS: AFP
KARACHI: 

Renovation work at Gadaffi Stadium; selectors meeting to discuss squad; the tussle between Punjab government and Federal government over security arrangements; fans planning their week and national cricketers hoping to finally make their long-awaited home debut.

All that will take a back seat, again, after the Bangladesh Cricket Board, following a yes, maybe, no and yes have finally said no to the tour of Pakistan, being forced by the Dhaka High Court (DHC) that set a four-week embargo on the national team’s plans.

The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) had confirmed the tour on Sunday, comprising one One-Day International and one Twenty20 to be played on April 29 and 30 in Lahore. However, the DHC forced the postponement after a writ petition was filed to challenge the tour, citing security threat to the visitors.

Apart from BCB President Mustafa Kamal, who promised to send his team, the tour was not welcomed by other Bangladesh board officials with reports saying that even its players were reluctant to tour. Outgoing head coach Stuart Law, too, cited his reluctance while adding that most players around the players did not want to go to Pakistan.

The petition was filed by a teacher and a lawyer pleading uncertainty on the security of the players and team officials. According to reports, the petitioner argued that the PCB failed to deliver its security plan to the International Cricket Council (ICC) and maintained that Pakistan was not safe for foreign teams – a notion he backed up by media reports in Pakistan – and asked for the tour to be scrapped.

The court, following the petition, issued the injunctive order and asked the BCB President, Bangladesh sports secretary and their National Sports Council to justify the decision on Pakistan.

PCB disgruntled on
postponement

The PCB, which was close to finalising preparations for the series, left disappointed with the decision and reacted strongly to the late u-turn.

Apart from the renovation work at the stadium, the players were undergoing practice sessions and tickets for the matches had gone to the printers. And, as the developments were taking place, the PCB selection committee was in the process of finalising squads for the matches after consultation with coach Dav Whatmore and captain Misbahul Haq.

“We had formed a comprehensive security plan and had submitted it to the ICC,” a PCB official told The Express Tribune. “The PCB chairman and the COO met top interior ministry officials today to discuss security issues. The renovation work is almost finished and we even ordered printing of tickets which were supposed to go on sale next week. The PCB wasn’t leaving any stone unturned to make the tour truly successful.

“The selection committee had also finalised the squad after thorough discussion but the announcement had to be deferred till the situation became clearer. The PCB, as well as the players, were excited about the tour but it ended in disappointment for all.”

According to the PCB’s security plans, around 2,000 security officials were to be deployed along the route of travel as well as 1,500 police officials at the venue. Dozens of officials were to be assigned on the roof and nearby buildings while patrolling by the equal number of police officials was also planned.

PCB still optimistic over tour

While the tour is highly unlikely to take place given the turn of events, a section of the PCB is still hoping Bangladesh will come and play the promised matches.

“The court can be convinced over the tour,” said the official.

“The objections raised by the petitioner are weak. He questioned the absence of the security plan but that has already been sent to the ICC. The security apprehensions are also not true which was proved by the successful tour of the British universities’ side. It all depends how the defendants fight the case. Since the tour is just three days, it can happen before the Pakistan team tours Sri Lanka.”

What the Bangladesh Cricket Board said:

The BCB has been notified of a writ petition filed today [Thursday]with the Honourable High Court Division of the Supreme Court challenging Bangladesh national cricket team’s tour to Pakistan and the subsequent stay-order of four weeks issued by the court.

Because of this ruling from the court, the BCB is not in a position to commit to the tour of Pakistan on the dates agreed [April 28 - May 01] recently by the BCB and the PCB. This has been communicated to the PCB and the International Cricket Council.

How the Pakistan Cricket Board reacted:

The PCB notes with extreme concern that the DHC has issued an injunctive order against the Pakistan tour.

It’s  astonishing to note that a matter lacking any legal issue has been dragged into the court by petitioners who appear to have vested interests and want to jeopardise Pakistan-Bangladesh cricketing relations.

The matter before the court doesn’t  contain any legal issue and is extremely disturbing to note that such an adverse order has been passed to block a bilateral cricket series.

The PCB has been extremely disappointed due to the creation of this new situation.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 20th, 2012.

Reader Comments (27)

  • Faraz
    Apr 20, 2012 - 3:15AM

    Even the Bangladesh players didn’t want to tour, Is India responsible for this too somehow? Its common sense, Pakistan has only deteriorated since 2009 but we want to continue living in denial, and blame Bangladesh for not wanting to die here because we did them some favors, these things happen all the time, the authorities won’t be or shouldn’t be indebted forever just because somebody helped them at some point. Pakistanis need to think rationally.

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  • jahandad
    Apr 20, 2012 - 5:41AM

    no problem ,,we wish our heroes defeat Bangalis on Bangali lands,,,and Indians on Indian land Brits on Brits land Australians on Australian land ,,,,,,so why should we bother they come here or not ,,while we can drag their helmets on their own lands,,,,,Recommend

  • sid rush
    Apr 20, 2012 - 6:42AM

    They will come if players want to come. Asia cup left a bitter taste in BD team. They almost beat Pakistan in rounds but lost due to batting mistake. In the final they had shot at winning.
    But Cheema blocking Mahmudullah during run so that he can get the strike lest bad taste in BD team. Not sure if they had scored the runs otherwise but pak team stooping this low to win a match must have left bad taste among BD players. Treat them with respect they will return the favor. Pak team should allowed them to win Asia Cup. One silly mistake, tour is over. They beat India and they could beat anyone now.

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  • Harish Puri
    Apr 20, 2012 - 7:03AM

    Haven’t they changed the name of Gaddafi Stadium as yet???

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  • yajsingh
    Apr 20, 2012 - 8:37AM

    Ehmmm….so even B’desh doesn”t believe in the assurance given by Pakistan.
    Are you listening Gen. Kayani? And you want India to trust you and vacate Siachen?Recommend

  • Adil
    Apr 20, 2012 - 9:15AM

    as in all cases,pakistan again sees vested interests and conspiracies galore when things don’t go their way..there are no controversies or vested interests pakistan, its time for some introspection..

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  • narayana murthy
    Apr 20, 2012 - 9:20AM

    Honestly, who wants to visit a country which has named its stadium after one of the biggest villains of all time – Gaddafi!!!!

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  • Hit-Man
    Apr 20, 2012 - 9:30AM

    @Harish Puri:
    They should have changed the name but may be looking for an appropriate one. My suggestion for the new name is ‘Mehsud Stadium’ which will ensure the safety of the foreign teams since TTP would themselves provide the safety cover for the visitors.

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  • Taimoor
    Apr 20, 2012 - 9:39AM

    They fear more from Pakistani Team than from Terrorists after what Pakistan did to them in the last Match!

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  • Bangalis can stay in their dungeons
    Apr 20, 2012 - 11:00AM

    We really need not be so keen to play the team who keeps coming forth with excuses, laments and attention seeking stunts!

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  • naeem hussain
    Apr 20, 2012 - 11:41AM

    There is no doubt now that an international conspiracy is going on against Pakistan to isolate it from every field of the life. It also shows that India was behind the attack on Sri Lankan team. It shows that why Salman Butt, Mohaammad Asif and Mohammad Amir were chosen to trap in spot fixing when players of every cricket playing nation are involved in it.

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  • abdullah
    Apr 20, 2012 - 12:18PM

    o comeon bangladeshis are talkin as if it is one of the most safest place in d wrld ..bangladeshis r scared 2 play wd pakistan …sad.. they knw they will loose….
    i have been 2 bangladesh nd i knw hw safe it is…nothin diff frm pak…they also have d same so called religious ppl…… only diff z dy dnt have afghanistan nxt 2 dem…

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  • Freedom Seeker
    Apr 20, 2012 - 1:25PM

    Better to make our home in order before inviting guests in it. Every day target killing, bomb blasts, sectarian killings. Who will trust words when we see all this anarchy around us. Better to forget all this till we really qualify to be hosting someone.

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  • Shyam
    Apr 20, 2012 - 2:19PM

    @naeem hussain
    There is no doubt now that an international conspiracy is going on against Pakistan to isolate it from every field of the life. It also shows that India was behind the attack on Sri Lankan team. It shows that why Salman Butt, Mohaammad Asif and Mohammad Amir were chosen to trap in spot fixing when players of every cricket playing nation are involved in it.
    Whoa!! Take a deep breath, close your eyes and breathe slowly… Do you still hear voices in your head?

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  • Pinto
    Apr 20, 2012 - 3:24PM

    Ha ha ha…… hail BCB what a way to insult pak.you’ve gone one step ahead of BCCI in snubbing pakistan

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  • vasan
    Apr 20, 2012 - 3:41PM

    Naeem Hussain : You forgot to mention other conspiracies on and off the fields as well

    Like Afreedi Chewing the ball during the match, pitch tampering. OBL getting planted in Abbotabad by RAW, Mehran attack by Extra terrestrials who got bribed by RAW to do it, Siachen avalanche and Flash floods by a peculiar RAW Laser beam machine invented by CIA, made by MOSSAD and used by RAW. Go on fill up the rest

    Another idea though, you could copy the Pakistan school history book. I believe they also have full of historical conspiracies.

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  • Javed
    Apr 20, 2012 - 4:20PM

    @Hit-Man: How about Haqquani Stadium.

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  • Analyzer
    Apr 20, 2012 - 4:24PM

    Realistically, we really can’t blame them, external infuence or not. In these conditions, as hosts even we would be worried about the safety and well being of our guests. Self preservation is the strongest instinct, and we need to be realistic before we blame others who don’t want to come here due to safety concerns. Let’s just appreciate the gesture of the BD team for expressing willingness to visit Pakistan in the first place.

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  • Adeel Syed
    Apr 20, 2012 - 7:15PM

    @sid rush:
    Why should we have let them win. Its a match and you have to win fair and square without any favours. I have seen the video over and over again and it is the batsmans responsibility to go round the bowler, the bowler has the right to stand his ground. Just because you played well in the tournament you cannot be handed over the trophy, you have to earn it.

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  • z shams
    Apr 20, 2012 - 9:08PM

    Kamal took a risk and he has miserably failed and allowed some Pakistanis to insult us. He should read the comments and should learn a lesson— time has not yet arrived to chalk out any program with PCB or any other Pakistani establishment. We are better off without their involvement in any of our affairs. Kamal should resign for he did not talk with our players before commiting himself to this horrendous and selfish task.

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  • jahandad
    Apr 21, 2012 - 12:59AM

    @z shams: my sympathies with you , most of these comments are made by Indians,,yes you people are better off ,but don’t try to irritate us behind the Indians,,wish you a swt victory,,,,,,,

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  • jahandad
    Apr 21, 2012 - 1:24AM

    Mr vasan,,,,,,i can feel a jealous burning heart in your chest ,,,,,,,that’s why you are expressing that burning in your comments ,,,,take a cold water glass and eat some tasty cow tikkas,,,,,,,,,,,

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  • Anwar
    Apr 21, 2012 - 11:48AM

    Dear Mr. PCB: Have you forgotten! The attackers of the Sri Lanka team were seen casually strolling after killing the Pakistani police on the CC video. They were not afraid of being caught or killed. No one has been identified or caught or tried for murder. Nothing happened!!! This is what the International cricket is seeing.

    Murders happen all over the world. Only in Pakistan the murderers are 100% sure they will not be caught and will be able to continue the crime series again and again and again……….

    Recommend

  • Indian Troll Interceptor
    Apr 21, 2012 - 11:53AM

    @jahandad:
    Bro they don’t eat beef. Respect their religion and they will respect ours. That is the essence of Islam. Isn’t it taught in our belief that no matter what somebody is saying to you; you dont stoop down to his level, and always show dignity and respect. Although vasan’s comments were condemnable too

    Recommend

  • vasan
    Apr 21, 2012 - 1:50PM

    It is a pity that ET chose not to publish my rejoinder to Mr Jahandad
    Indian Troll Interceptor : May I know your opinion about Naeem hussain’s comments as well. Just to put the things in right perspective

    Recommend

  • Apr 22, 2012 - 11:53AM

    It’s a shame no country comes for cricket matches in Pakistan but WE should tell them all that we are still in the GAME!!

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  • ANON
    Apr 24, 2012 - 11:00PM

    It’s not just their board, their players also donot want to come. Would you like to play such a team? Even if they do come i doubt other teams will still follow suit.There is no point. I beleive we should wait till the security situation is good enough. Security situation right now may not be as bad as in 2008 and 2009 but still peace is elusive in our region. We should wait. I could understand PCB concerns but they need to be realistic. Concentrate on building your team just right now. We are in dire need of fast bowlers after Asif and Amer controversy. We should look into this matter. When situation will improve, i am sure we will have a better case to convince world teams to visit us.Recommend

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