Pakistan out of sight, Bangladesh look to South Africa
Karachi/Dhaka, April 23 (IANS) Bangladesh have approached South Africa for a series in May after the postponement of a series in Pakistan. Due to its prior commitments, the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) is unlikely to go ahead with the Pakistan tour even if the Dhaka High Court gives the go-ahead.
Pakistan's leading daily Dawn said that the tour is unlikely to go ahead due to Bangladesh's prior international commitments.
Cricinfo reported that BCB president Mustafa Kamal has now offered to Cricket South Africa (CSA) to pay all the costs, whether the series takes place in Bangladesh or South Africa. Bangladesh wants to play three ODIs and five Twenty20s in May.
'We have received the request and we are in the process of checking whether it would be possible. We've got nothing against it, it's just about scheduling. At the moment, I can say it is a request we are looking at,' CSA's acting chief executive Jacques Faul said.
The tour to Pakistan for an ODI and a Twenty20, on April 29 and 30 at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore, was postponed after Dhaka High Court, citing security concerns, ordered the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) to postpone by four weeks the national team's tour to Pakistan slated to start next week.
A BCB spokesman, who was quoted by Dawn, said that the decision not to tour Pakistan is not part of a conspiracy. The spokesperson also said that BCB was still waiting for a copy of the stay order from the Dhaka High Court.
The spokesperson also said 'the notion that BCB's lawyer had not defended the tour to Pakistan in the hearing at the Dhaka High Court was untrue.'
The official also said that it was not fair that Bangladesh should go to Pakistan amid security concerns when it was playing 'home series' with other teams on neutral venues.
Had the tour gone ahead, Bangladesh would have been the first international team to tour Pakistan in three years since the 2009 attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore.
For the last three years, Pakistan has been a no-go zone for international teams and they had to play most of their home matches at neutral venues, mostly in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
CSA will sit down with South African Cricketers' Association (SACA) and national coach Gary Kirsten before deciding Bangladesh's request.
South Africa have a packed schedule and SACA is unlikely to give a green signal for the tour as chief executive Tony Irish said it falls outside the Future Tours Programme (FTP).
'Because this will fall outside the Future Tours Programme, it needs the permission of SACA to take place. And what I can say at the moment is that it is unlikely we will go through with it,' he said.
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