PAKISTAN will not allow their players to feature in Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) second season if the country’s cricket board decides against sending its national team here for a much-awaited series, a Pakistani newspaper reported quoting well-placed sources.
According to the sources, Pakistan’s cricket chiefs are extremely unhappy over Bangladesh Cricket Board’s reluctance to send its team to Pakistan for a limited-overs series that is expected to the pave the path for the return of international cricket in the country.
Pakistani cricket stars including their former captain Shahid Afridi were the single biggest reason why the inaugural edition of BPL which concluded on February 29 turned out to be a highly successful event.
Over 20 Pakistani cricketers featured in the BPL, a Twenty20 league that was Bangladesh’s version of the lucrative Indian Premier League.
While top Pakistani cricketers like Afridi, Mohammad Hafeez and Saeed Ajmal just played in the final games of the event because of their series against England in the UAE, many of their other compatriots including fast bowler Mohammad Sami and opener Nasir Jamshed finished among BPL’s biggest success stories.
BPL teams have roped in Pakistani cricketers for long-term stints but PCB can bar them from playing in the tournament.
“PCB believes that it has done everything possible for the smooth hosting of a home series against Bangladesh which is why it won’t take any decision against the visit lightly,” The News quoted the source as saying.
“A negative call on the issue by Bangladesh is bound to strain cricketing relations between the two countries and the biggest loser could be the BPL,” he added.
Pakistan are desperate to host Bangladesh for a limited-overs series in Lahore and Karachi next month in its bid to revive international cricket in the country.
Pakistan have not hosted international teams since March 2009 when Sri Lankan cricketers were ambushed by terrorists in Lahore killing six policeman and a van driver. Several Sri Lankan players and one of their coaches were injured in the attack.
A Bangladeshi delegation visited Pakistan earlier this month to review security arrangements for the proposed series. BCB president Mustafa Kamal who led the delegation told senior PCB officials that he was satisfied with the security arrangements, said the report.
BCB however said a final decision on the tour hinges on its government clearance.