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Zaka Ashraf, left, called Bangladesh Cricket Board's reason to postpone tour 'inappropriate'. Arif Ali / AFP
Zaka Ashraf, left, called Bangladesh Cricket Board's reason to postpone tour 'inappropriate'. Arif Ali / AFP

Bangladesh decision to postpone cricket tour annoys Pakistan

Cricket board chairman Zaka Ashraf says reason given by Bangladesh counterparts does not make sense given they were happy about the security measures.

KARACHI // Pakistan today criticised Bangladesh's decision to abandon a planned cricket tour over security fears and threatened to bar its own players from taking part in a Bangladeshi league.

The two nations were scheduled to play a Twenty20 and a one-day international in Lahore this month, albeit pending security clearance.

But, on Monday, Bangladesh shelved what would have been the first international cricket tour of Pakistan since militants wounded seven members of the Sri Lankan team and an assistant coach in Lahore in 2009.

Nazmul Hassan, the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) president, said the decision had been taken over fears for players' safety, following protests by Bangladeshis and a Facebook campaign against the tour.

But Zaka Ashraf, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman, said the decision was "inappropriate".

"The decision to tour was up to the BCB," Ashraf said.

"We never forced Bangladesh, but to say that the security situation was not conducive is inappropriate because their own delegation was satisfied with the arrangements."

Ashraf said the Pakistan government had promised top-level security.

"We had promised the best security arrangements and were hosting matches in Lahore, which is very safe," said Ashraf. "An international eleven last year played matches in Karachi and there were no problems."

Pakistan hosted two limited-overs matches in Karachi with players from South Africa, Sri Lanka and the West Indies in October 2012.

In a statement, the PCB said it "would only be proper" for the BCB president to read the report from his security delegation before commenting on Pakistan's current situation.

It warned that it may now bar Pakistani players from the second edition of the Bangladesh Premier League, starting January 17.

The BPL is the Bangladeshi answer to the Indian Premier League.

In 2012, 20 Pakistanis featured in the tournament, with the all-rounder Shahid Afridi fetching US$700,000 (Dh2.57 million) in an auction of stars - the highest amount bid. More than 50 Pakistanis have already been bought at an auction for the second edition.

"Now for the 2013 edition of BPL, we have to see the engagements of our players before releasing them for the tournament," the statement said.

Bangladesh were also due to tour Pakistan last April, but the tour was blocked by the Dhaka high court on security grounds.

Anti-Pakistan sentiment still runs strong in the country, which was part of Pakistan until 1971 when it won independence after a nine-month war.

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