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January 14, 2020

Ehsan Mani to meet BCB chief in Dubai this week


January 14, 2020

LAHORE: Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Ehsan Mani will meet his Bangladeshi counterpart Nazmul Hassan in Dubai this week. The need for the meeting arose after Bangladesh refused to play Tests in Pakistan.

The meeting will take place on the sidelines of the International Cricket Council (ICC) Governance Review Committee meeting, following which the PCB will provide further updates on Bangladesh men’s national cricket team’s tour to Pakistan, a press release from the PCB said.

The Dubai meeting is a continuation of the discussion process, which PCB has followed to reach a consensus with BCB on its national men’s team tour.

Bangladesh’s tour of Pakistan appears set to be called off after the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) made it clear its team would not visit for Tests.

Reports say Bangladesh authorities are willing to send the team only for limited-overs matches. The PCB chiefs have insisted that the visitors play the two scheduled Tests later this month. The two Tests were slated for Rawalpindi and Karachi.

“We have had a round of correspondence with them [the BCB] and they are happy to play three T20s in Pakistan but they are slightly reluctant to play two Tests,” PCB CEO Wasim Khan had previously stated.

“They are talking about three T20s, but for us playing Test cricket in another country isn’t an option now,” Wasim had added.

The BCB met on Sunday to finalise their decision. Bangladesh head coach Russell Domingo had said earlier that he would come to Pakistan if the team was touring the country. “If we have to, then I am going,” Domingo had said while speaking to New Age. “I think we can only discuss the matter once the decision is made. We need to discuss with the cricket board,” he said. However, Domingo had hinted that some of his staff members were reluctant to visit Pakistan. “I think some guys are not keen to go. But if we have to then I am going,” he had added.

Domingo’s Pakistani counterpart Misbahul Haq had expressed his disappointment at Bangladesh’s decision. “There is no excuse at this stage and making security a pretext is lame, because when international tours are happening, teams (are) coming and playing here, even you are agreeing to play T20 and refusing Test is something beyond my understanding,” he had said during a media briefing. “I don’t see any reason. To me it’s just an excuse and nothing else.”

At a media briefing in Dhaka, BCB chief Nazmul Hassan had said the government had told the board it could go ahead with a tour of Pakistan, but to keep it “short” due to the Iran-US tensions. “As far as security is concerned, T20 is a better option. This is the best thing we can offer to Pakistan,” he said.

The BCB said it wanted to split the series, playing the T20Is in Pakistan and the Tests at a neutral venue. It has been reported that PCB even offered to fly Bangladesh in and out after each Test, which means they would land in Karachi, go back to Dhaka, and then return to Rawalpindi for the second Test.

Bangladeshi sides have toured Pakistan in the recent past, but the senior men’s team hasn’t done so since playing a five-match ODI series in 2007-08.

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