DHAKA: Bangladesh said yesterday it had shelved on safety grounds a planned cricket tour of Pakistan, which would have been the first by an international team since a 2009 militant attack on Sri Lanka’s bus.
The two teams had been scheduled to play a Twenty20 and a one-day international on January 12 and 13 respectively, both in Lahore.
But Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) president Nazmul Hassan told reporters the proposed tour had been put off indefinitely amid fears over players’ safety, following protests by Bangladeshis and a Facebook campaign against the visit.
Anti-Pakistan sentiment still runs strong in the country, which was part of Pakistan until 1971 when it won independence. “Bangladesh will not visit Pakistan for now. We’ve made the decision after considering the overall security situation in Pakistan and the concern that our people have expressed over the safety of their players,” Hassan said.
“We made a commitment to visit Pakistan and it’s almost mandatory for us to tour the country. But we believe safety of players and officials are of highest importance. It’s a national issue.”