‘No Pakistani to feature in BPL if Bangladesh refuses tour’
LAHORE: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has conveyed to its Bangladesh counterpart 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.
Well-informed sources have told Dawn the PCB has written a letter in a very diplomatic language, which signals a message that no Pakistan player will be issued NOC to take part in the next BPL unless Bangladesh ensure its national team is touring Pakistan.
Under the prior commitment, Bangladesh was scheduled to send the national squad to Pakistan in April this year for one ODI and a T20.
However, Bangladesh amid security concerns postponed the tour at the eleventh hour after intervention from the country’s high court. But now the PCB wants to get BCB assurance for the said tour before allowing its players to figure in the second edition of the BPL.
“We believe the letter will not upset Bangladesh because the language used in it is polite. However, it is expected to make them realise that they should fulfil their prior commitment [of touring Pakistan],” a source in the PCB said.
Sources say the PCB has made this courageous move towards the BCB knowing it has somehow restored better relationship with India — region and cricket’s commercial power — with Pakistan squad’s forthcoming visit to India being the clear evidence of it. It is to be noted that the PCB has withdrawn from all its major demands for the coming series in India, including relinquishment of monetary benefits from the series.
There have been media reports in the recent past that India was also creating problems for the PCB in resuming international cricket in Pakistan. But this time it seems no such hindrance will be created as the BCB will be forced to fulfil its commitment.
Sources further said the PCB can host Bangladesh at any of the four cities — Lahore, Mirpurkhas, Larkana or Rawalpindi.
According to sources, said the newly-built stadium in Larkana was almost complete and its inauguration was also around the corner.
Therefore, it can serve as an ideal venue for a short series (comprising one ODI and a T20), also getting international recognition in the process.