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January 15, 2020

Bangladesh agree to play full series in Pakistan

Sports

January 15, 2020

KARACHI: Bangladesh on Tuesday agreed to play two Tests, three Twenty20 Internationals and a one-off One-day International in Pakistan.

But the series will be split across three legs which means that it will begin on January 24 in Lahore and end on April 9 in Karachi.

The decision was announced after a meeting between Ehsan Mani, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman and Nazmul Hassan, the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) President at the ICC headquarters in Dubai. Also present at the meeting was ICC Chairman Shaskank Manoha, who facilitated the talks between PCB and BCB.

Bangladesh had been dilly-dallying about their tour of Pakistan and had initially conveyed that they could only play a brief T20 series in Pakistan because of security fears. However, the PCB chiefs were adamant that Bangladesh should play a two-Test series which is part of the ICC World Test Championship.

That’s why the PCB officials was seeing Tuesday’s announcement as a major breakthrough.

According to the schedule decided, Bangladesh will come to Lahore to play three T20 Internationals from January 24-27. They will return home before coming back for the first Test to be played in Rawalpindi from February 7-11. They will then return here again for the final leg in April to play a one-off ODI (April 3) and the second and final Test in Karachi from April 5-9. The reason behind the big break between the second and final legs is the Pakistan Super League (PSL) which concludes on March 22.

Mani was pleased with the outcome of his meeting with Hassan in Dubai.

“I am pleased that we have amicably achieved a resolution that is in the best interest of this great sport as well as both the proud cricket playing countries. I also want to thank ICC Chairman Shaskank Manohar for the leadership he provided and ensured the sport continues to grow and thrive in the two countries,” he said.

PCB Chief Executive Wasim Khan, who also attended the meeting, commented: “It is a win-win outcome for both the boards. I am glad that the uncertainty around the series is now over and we can start planning for the smooth delivery of the matches. Bangladesh will visit Pakistan thrice, which should give them the comfort that Pakistan is as safe and secure as any other cricket playing country.”

BCB President Nazmul Hassan said: “I must thank the PCB for understanding our position. We are pleased that a mutually acceptable resolution has been reached and this is a prime example our sincere efforts at respecting the ICC FTP commitments.”

A senior PCB official told ‘The News’ that Pakistan won’t be footing the bill of Bangladesh’s additional flights.

“The series will be held in three legs which means additional costs but those will be borne by them (BCB) and not us,” he said.

“In addition, we have managed to get a one-off ODI included in the tour schedule which should add to PCB’s earnings from the home series. Initially, Bangladesh were willing to send their team just to Rawalpindi but according to the schedule finalised they will be playing in Karachi and Lahore too which is good for Pakistan cricket,” he said.

However, there are some fears that Bangladesh might backtrack on their commitment of playing the two Tests at one pretext or the other. So is there a penalty clause in the agreement?

“We don’t think there is any need (for a penalty clause),” the PCB official said. “The series has been properly finalised with the involvement of the ICC which is why we don’t see the possibility of them backtracking from the commitment.”

Tour schedule:

24 Jan: 1st T20I, Lahore

25 Jan: 2nd T20I, Lahore

27 Jan: 3rd T20I, Lahore

7-11 Feb: 1st Test, Rawalpindi

3 Apr: One-off ODI, Karachi

5-9 Apr: 2nd Test, Karachi