PCB reacts sternly to Bangladesh refusal


Infuriated PCB Chairman Zaka Ashraf has shown his frustration by expressing displeasure at the Bangladesh Cricket Board’s (BCB) decision to put on hold their proposed tour of Pakistan for the second time.
He reacted aggressively, saying that Pakistan will ‘reconsider’ its bilateral ties with Bangladesh after the BCB, once again, backed down from going ahead with the tour. Pakistan, he said, will not sacrifice their interests for those who do not honour their words.
Ashraf as quoted by Cricinfo said, he had not forced Bangladesh to tour. “If they don’t want to come its their own decision and we didn’t force them,” Zaka said. Bangladesh, he said, had confirmed the tour to the PCB and the ICC, “three times and still they backed off. Now their own reputation is at stake. If they don’t want to respect their bilateral relationship then we will also respond in a same manner.”
The most immediate consequences of this breakdown of relations between the two boards over the controversial tour, will be felt at the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) which will begin on January 18. The BPL is clashing with the Quaid-e-Azam Trophy, Pakistan’s leading first-class event.
Reports suggested that the PCB is unlikely to release most of the top cricketers for the BPL.
“We will take a principled stance on BPL,” Ashraf said, “but one thing is sure our players might not be free as we are making our own arrangements from next year.” He said that PCB-related commitments may occupy most of the players’ time and that, “they may not be bothered for other things.”
The PCB has begun its preparations for an impending tour after getting a positive response from the BCB. Tenders had gone out, inviting sponsorship bids for a series title sponsor, two co-sponsors and in-stadia advertising rights for two international matches (one ODI and one T20). The PCB has also moved the domestic first-class Quaid-e-Azam matches, scheduled between January 7 and 22 away from the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore to accommodate the proposed matches against Bangladesh.
Ashraf said, it was “almost confirmed” that Bangladesh would tour Pakistan, but found it “strange” that they had pulled out from their commitment. The PCB’s efforts to revive international cricket in Pakistan, according to Ashraf, was on track. “Soon we will manage to get a better team to tour Pakistan than Bangladesh.”