Bangladesh retreats from plan to send cricket team to Pakistan

Dhaka, Dec 31 (IANS) Citing "security concerns", the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) has again retreated from its plan to send its national team to Pakistan.

"Its not good for us to visit Pakistan right this moment," BCB president Nazmul Hassan Papon told reporters at a press briefing Monday afternoon, reports Xinhua.

The Bangladesh team were to tour Pakistan Jan 12 and 13 to play a One-Day International (ODI) and a Twenty20 International match under a controversial move that raised huge storm.

"The security situation of Pakistan has remained unchanged. Considering the prevailing situation, we think it's not a time for us to send Bangladesh cricket team," said the BCB chief.

He said BCB has already conveyed its decision to the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB).

Earlier in April, Bangladesh, amid security concerns, postponed the tour at the 11th hour after intervention from the country's court.

A High Court division bench April 19 put on hold the tour by its national cricket team to Pakistan to play two international matches April 29-30. The High Court bench then postponed the tour by four weeks.

The tour was supposed to be the first in about four years after the attack on Sri Lankan players less than a mile from the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore. The March 2009 terrorist attack left eight people dead and seven visiting players and their assistant coach wounded.

But the BCB decision to send Bangladesh team to Pakistan irked apparently many people who believed that BCB wanted to make national team players scapegoat as the PCB reportedly conveyed to BCB that it will not permit any Pakistani to feature in next year's Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) unless the country fulfils its commitment of sending the national team to Pakistan for a couple of limited-overs matches.

A number of Pakistani players have already been purchased by seven franchises of the second edition of the BPL, which is scheduled to begin Jan 18.

"BPL will start as per schedule whether Pakistan players come or not," the BCB president said.

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