KARACHI: Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Shaharyar Khan has claimed that the Bangladesh cricket team is willing to play in Pakistan, but did not reveal if and when a series is planned.
Shaharyar was speaking to the media on his return from Bangladesh, where he witnessed the low-scoring tie between Pakistan and India.
“Bangladesh have agreed to come and play in Pakistan, with matches being planned in Karachi and Lahore,” he said.
Pakistan will also be taking part in the upcoming World T20, Shaharyar reaffirmed. “Pakistan will be travelling to India to play the World T20, and the security of our national team is the responsibility of the Indian government and authorities,” he said. “When the Indians came to Pakistan in 2004 and 2006, we gave them top security and hopefully the same would be done to Pakistan as well.”
When asked why Sir Vivian Richards was not brought in for the World T20 as a mentor, Shaharyar replied that the board did put an offer on the table but terms could not be agreed.
The PCB was willing to give $30,000 to Richards for both the Asia Cup and World T20, but he decided to instead work with PTV Sports as an expert.
‘Afridi should talk to PCB about retirement plans’
Reports have been circulating that Pakistan T20I skipper Shahid Afridi is thinking about carrying on after the World T20, despite suggesting earlier that he would retire from cricket after the mega event in India.
Afridi recently responded to the rumours by stating on social media that all the talk about his retirement is baseless as he has not taken anyone’s advice regarding the issue and is focused on the Asia Cup for now.
The all-rounder had further said that he will make his career decisions keeping what is good for the country in mind.
Shaharyar, however, feels Afridi needs to talk to the board if he is having second thoughts about retiring. “I’ve heard reports that Afridi is thinking about continuing after the World T20,” he said. “Whenever I get the chance, I’ll talk to Afridi because we won’t force anyone to retire. It was his decision and when we were appointing him as T20 captain, it was his wish to continue till the World T20 as skipper.”
The 81-year-old suggested that Afridi may not remain captain after the World T20, even if he does decide to play on. “I would urge him to talk to the PCB rather than going to the media,” he said. “If he wants to continue then we’ll decide whether he should be retained as a player or as a captain.”
Shaharyar praises Amir, Kohli
The PCB chairman also praised fast-bowling sensation Mohammad Amir after his brilliant spell against India, which was also acknowledged by Indian captain MS Dhoni and vice-captain Virat Kohli.
“Everybody has been talking about Amir’s spell in Bangladesh, saying they haven’t seen one like that for quite a long time,” he said. “I hope that Pakistan’s performances will improve.”
Shaharyar also praised Kohli for his match-winning 49. “Kohli gave everyone a lesson in batting,” he said. “His innings was a great reminder of how to bat on a difficult pitch.”