Will not force players to tour Pakistan – BCB President



Bangladesh Cricket Board president Nazmul Hasan has stated he will not force cricketers to tour Pakistan even if they receive security clearance. The Pakistan Cricket Board has already sent a draft itinerary for two Tests and three T20Is scheduled to be held in January-February next year though BCB is yet to respond to it.

BCB is awaiting a security go-ahead for the tour of Pakistan but according to BCB boss that will not be enough as they will subsequently have to take the consent of the cricketers and the members of the team management.

BCB had sent the national women’s team and the Bangladesh under-16 team to tour Pakistan earlier this year after a delegation from the Bangladesh government recently visited the country for a security assessment and gave the green signal.

The board is waiting for the same delegation to hand over a report ahead of the men’s national team’s tour, based on which the final call will be taken but now it seems everything will be sorted out only after sitting with the players and members of the team management.

“We cannot force our players to go to Pakistan,” Nazmul told reporters at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium. “If any player doesn’t want to go, he will not go there. We will not pressurize anyone. The board will not pressurize any player to go to Pakistan. I don’t think it’s time to talk about the replacement team. It will depend on the situations.

“We have applied to the government to know whether we will get the security clearance for Pakistan series. Two of our teams visited Pakistan before. One is the women’s team and other is the boy’s team. We are yet to get the security clearance for the national team. But if you ask me about security, it should be the same either it is the under-12 or the national team.

We are assuming that we will get the security clearance. But we are yet to receive it. When we have it [the report] in our hand, we can inform about our decision.

“After security clearance, it will be the opinion of the cricketers. We want to hear who wants to go or who doesn’t. There are a lot of matters including the board. After getting the clearance we will sit to discuss about these things. We hope that we can make a final decision within next four to five days,” he said.

While PCB is considering hosting a day-night Test match at Karachi, Bangladesh are looking to split the tour viz. play only the T20I series in Pakistan and will request for the Test series to be staged at a neutral venue.

Sri Lanka are currently playing a Test series in Pakistan, but according to sources, BCB feels that the players will be mentally exhausted to play the longer format of the game for a prolonged period under high security and for this reason they would much rather play a spilt series.

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