Pakistan finally a hosted Test match at home after close to 11 years in the ongoing ICC World Test Championship clash against Sri Lanka. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
With Sri Lanka successfully touring Pakistan for Twenty20 Internationals and two Tests, international cricket is making a comeback to the country which was ravaged by terror attacks. Following the attack on the Sri Lanka team in Lahore in 2009, international teams refused to tour the country for six years until Zimbabwe toured in 2015. After the end of the Sri Lanka series, Bangladesh are slated to tour Pakistan for Twenty20 Internationals and Tests. However, angladesh board's top officials have been quoted this week in the media as saying that they will not be playing Tests in Pakistan due to security concerns although they are willing to play the Twenty20 Internationals in Pakistan.
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has made it clear to their Bangladesh counterparts that it will not host them on a neutral venue. In an e-mail sent to the Bangladesh Cricket Board, the PCB Chairman, Ehsan Mani has also asked the Bangladesh board to give acceptable reasons for refusing to send their team for the two Tests of the ICC World Test Championship in Pakistan from January 18th.
"Mani sahib has made it clear to them that just saying Pakistan is not safe for Test cricket that is why they are not sending their team is not going to be enough now," a PCB official said. Mani has in his mail pointed out that even the ICC had accepted and approved Pakistan's security plans after which they had sent their match officials to supervise the test series against Sri Lanka," a Pakistan Cricket Board official said.
Pakistan head coach Misbah-ul-Haq has lashed out at Bangladesh for refusing to come to the country. Misbah said it would be a huge disappointment for the Pakistani players if Bangladesh didn't come in January. Misbah feels that Pakistan cricket had already suffered enough not getting to play Test cricket and if Bangladesh didn't come it meant Pakistan's next Test series would be in the summer of 2020 in England.
"I just don't understand their refusal. I don't see the logic of wanting to come and play T20 matches but not the Test matches. It is very unfair on Pakistan. I just think they are making a lame excuse to not come to Pakistan and if this happens it would be a huge injustice to Pakistan. Just when teams are starting to come here and play without any problems, Bangladesh is making lame excuses to avoid us in Tests. Then how can we blame our players if they don't perform. It is never easy for any player to perform after not playing a format for four to five months at a stretch," said Misbah.