Ashraf said the PCB had made a comprehensive security plan for the tour
THE BANGLADESH cricket team will not go to Pakistan later this month after the Dhaka high court upheld a legal challenge to the tour and ordered a four-week delay.
Bangladesh had agreed to play a one-day international and a Twenty20 match on April 29 and April 30 in what would have been the first full internationals in Pakistan since March 2009, when Sri Lanka players and officials were attacked by gunmen in Lahore.
“The court by an order has restrained the Bangladesh government and the Bangladesh Cricket Board from going ahead with the national cricket team’s tour to Pakistan for four weeks,” said the lawyer Hasan Azim, representing the two people who challenged the tour citing security concerns.
The university lecturer Didarus Salam and a senior supreme court lawyer, Kamal Hossain, had jointly filed a petition in the Dhaka high court earlier on Thursday (April 19), seeking an adjournment of the tour and asking why it should not be declared illegal.
Foreign teams have shunned Pakistan since the 2009 attack, which killed six Pakistani policemen. Several Sri Lanka players were wounded in the incident, which also led to matches at the 2011 World Cup being taken away from Pakistan. Since then, Pakistan have had to play their “home” matches at neutral venues.
Pakistan officials said they were surprised and disappointed by the court ruling. “We are surprised that a purely cricketing matter has been dragged into the courts,” the Pakistan Cricket Board chairman, Zaka Ashraf, said.
“We are deeply disappointed and sad that Bangladesh is not coming after confirming the tour last week. It is a big setback for Pakistan cricket and Pakistani cricket fans who were ready to welcome the Bangladesh team.”
Ashraf said the PCB had made a comprehensive security plan for the tour and sent it to the International Cricket Council for approval.
“Everything was being put into place as far as security is concerned,” he said. The PCB’s chief operating officer, Subhan Ahmed, told reporters that if the four-week delay was enforced then Pakistan would not be able to host Bangladesh due to other commitments.
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