Bangladesh agree to tour Pakistan next month

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Minnows Bangladesh said Tuesday they would tour Pakistan next month after world champions Australia postponed a cricket series there over security fears.

Cricket Australia Tuesday told Pakistan authorities that their team's upcoming tour starting late this month was postponed, but not cancelled, though no new date has yet been set.

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Nasim Ashraf told a press conference they had contacted other countries as potential replacements and hoped Bangladesh would come instead, and later Tuesday the PCB got its wish.

"We have accepted Pakistan's proposal to play five one-day matches and a Twenty20 match in Pakistan in April,"
Bangladesh Cricket Board official Gazi Ashaf Hossain Lipu confirmed in Dhaka.

"We will meet soon to fix the dates and venues of the matches."

Pakistan last month also invited India for five one-day matches as an alternative if the Australians refused to tour, but the arch-rivals turned down the invitation citing a busy schedule.

Ashraf said he hoped the Australia tour would be rescheduled once they get security clearance.

"The Australian series is not cancelled, it is postponed for the time-being and we hope that once their security team gives clearance Australia tour us whenever they get a time slot,"
said Ashraf.

The PCB chief denied that Pakistan faced financial losses because of the postponement.

"Since the series will be played we are not going to lose any finances and we are sure that it will be rescheduled,"
said Ashraf.

He said the PCB had insured the Australian series with a British-based company for a sum of seven million dollars -- the reported value of an Australian series in television rights.

Ashraf said he would meet CA chairman Creagh O'Connor in Dubai next week.

"We have conveyed our disappointment over the tour postponement and now I am going to meet the CA chairman in Dubai on March 17 where we will talk about the series and other matters relating to the series."

Pakistan managed to avoid any financial losses when they were forced to play their home series on neutral grounds in 2001 and 2002, also amid security fears.

The West Indies and Australia refused to tour Pakistan because of security fears following the 9/11 attacks on the United States and the US-led invasion of Afghanistan, which borders Pakistan.

This time Pakistan refused to switch the Australian series to neutral venues.

0 Responses to "Bangladesh agree to tour Pakistan next month"

Will Pakistan Premier League gain success just like Indian Premier League ?