International cricket set to return to Pakistan


LAHORE: Pakistan is likely to host Bangladesh in a full home series next year, it was learnt Wednesday. As part of the ground breaking for international teams return to Pakistan, Bangladesh would most likely send their junior team or A team to tour Pakistan first. Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Ijaz Butt met Bangladesh cricket officials in Dhaka on the sidelines of the ACC meeting and discussed the possibility of Bangladesh visiting Pakistan in 2011.
It has been learnt that Pakistan has asked Bangladesh to first tour Pakistan and the PCB will send its team to Bangladesh in return. The BCB wanted Pakistan to visit their country but the PCB was not in a mood to sent its team there in the backdrop of the fact that the BCB refused to give hosting rights when Pakistan was desperate to find a neutral venue. Butt said that the BCB has now shown its willingness on send a Bangladesh team to Pakistan for a full series.
“Bangladesh has agreed to tour Pakistan and we hope that the series will rake place here soon,” a wire news agency quoted Butt as saying. Pakistan has become a no-go zone for international teams after Sri Lanka’s cricket team was ambushed by terrorists in Lahore in March 2009.
The PCB officials have since then been making futile efforts to resume international cricket in Pakistan. Butt is hopeful that Bangladesh will help break the ice by visiting Pakistan soon. The PCB chief rejected the impression that relations between the PCB and the BCB were strained after Pakistan refused to send its team to Bangladesh on security grounds. “There have been a few issues between us, but our relations are fine,” he said. The BCB may now be the first Test playing nation to send one of its teams to play in Pakistan after the Lahore Test attack.
“We have agreed in principle to send our team to Pakistan in 2011. It may not be the national team but either “A” or Under-19 team,” he added.