The general sentiment in the Bangladesh cricket fraternity is that the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) has conceded defeat to the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) in cricket diplomacy by confirming Bangladesh’s three-leg tour of Pakistan on Tuesday.
Following a meeting with the PCB on the sidelines of the ICC governance meeting in Dubai on Tuesday, the BCB and their Pakistani counterparts arrived at a bilateral decision that has left a big part of the Bangladesh cricket fraternity shocked.
Till Sunday, the BCB had voiced severe reservations about touring Pakistan, as per advice from the government, and had been firm in its decision of a short stay. In the space of two days, the board has now decided to send the national team on three separate tours over a span of two and a half months.
However, BCB President Nazmul Hassan could not understand why the decision to tour Pakistan was being criticised and said that the board did exactly what they had said before.
“I do not know why they are criticising and I find it strange because we always said we would play the T20 first, and that is how it has remained.
“They first wanted us to play a full series and then said to play the Test series first. Now, why are they saying this [criticising], I do not understand. I am surprised. I think the series is happening the way we always wanted. The first time I faced the media on the issue, I said we want to play the T20I series first and then the Test series,” Hassan told reporters upon his arrival from Dubai yesterday.
Split into three parts, Bangladesh will first play three T20Is between January 24 to 27 in Lahore and travel back home. The team will return to Pakistan to play the first Test in Rawalpindi, starting on February 7 before Pakistan’s players partake in the Pakistan Super League T20. Bangladesh will then return to play the lone ODI on April 3 before the second Test starts on April 5 in Karachi.
According to the BCB boss, the inclusion of the lone ODI ahead of the second Test will help cricketers prepare for the second Test.
“Pakistan is facing a huge [financial] loss. We [Bangladesh] need one practice match. They had proposed playing a T20I match for better revenue. Their cost has increased a lot as we will be travelling three times now. We thought about playing an ODI [ahead of the second Test] as it will help the cricketers prepare better,” Hassan explained.