Cricket: Bangladesh refuses to tour Pakistan!
They say that one should only give credit where it’s due. Same goes for importance, and it seems that for the past couple of months, Pakistan Cricket Board has been barking up the wrong tree, hoping it will give the fruits they desire.
Pakistan Cricket Board had invited Bangladesh cricket team to play in the country, hoping that the Bangladeshis would oblige. In the end, they did exactly what the general public expected from them, and their decision to not tour Pakistan shocked only those who don’t follow cricket.
Ever since Zaka Ashraf took over as Chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board last year, his first priority has been the return of international cricket to Pakistan. He did his best to convince other teams and was left with Bangladesh, who were neither touring any country nor were hosting any Test nation.
It was quite understandable considering what Pakistan had done for the Bangladeshis in their pre-Test status days. From becoming the first team to losing against Bangladesh (no pun intended!) to playing in every event the Bangladeshis organized, Pakistani cricketers were ready to oblige their ‘brothers’.
But as soon as the ‘brothers’ got elevated to the Test level, they started changing sides and gradually went to the other side, facilitating those who didn’t want Pakistan to prosper. Their reasons to favour the Indians are unknown, considering they haven’t played against them in India in a Test match, despite being more than a decade-old Test nation!
Back to Pakistan, the Chairman of PCB Zaka Ashraf was visibly hurt by the BCB’s decision to postpone the tour. He sacrificed the coveted post of ICC Vice President and gave it to Bangladesh, so that it could strengthen the relations between the two countries, enabling Bangladesh to tour and play in Pakistan.
Sadly, Bangladeshi people and board officials didn’t consider it much of a sacrifice as they questioned their President Mustafa Kamal’s decision to tour Pakistan, a country they view as war-torn and unsafe. The board officials hounded him for days and one shouldn’t be surprised if one of them asked a couple of civilians to move court to have the tour cancelled.
What should Pakistan do now? I think they should quit all hopes of playing against the lowly-ranked Bangladeshis and strengthen their domestic competitions. The level of competition may not be of international standard but it will surely be better than playing Bangladesh, who last won a one-day international against Pakistan some 13 years back!
They can ask Zimbabwe, Afghanistan to play the A side as well as the Under-19 side in Pakistan, and then gradually ask foreign teams to tour. If all fails, they can always ask the government to intervene and use foreign office, but that should be the last option.
The Pakistan Cricket Board should also try to better their relations with India because if India is happy, the whole cricket world is happy. As for the Bangladeshis, PCB can take some extreme steps, which I doubt they would.
The best would be to forfeit their right to the ICC Presidency because that way, Mustafa Kamal would also not reach the highest designation of the governing body. They can also stop the cricketers from playing in future Bangladesh Premier League, as it is better to hit them back, where it will hurt them, the most!