ICC agrees to recognise Pak-B`desh ODI series as official
Lahore: The ICC has agreed to recognise the planned One-day series between Pakistan and Bangladesh as official One-day Internationals despite granting special dispensation to the two boards to post local match officials in the bilateral series.
A senior PCB official said that the series would be an official one with three ODIs to be played in Karachi and Lahore from April 15 to 27 tentatively if the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) got clearance from its government to send its team to Pakistan.
"We are expecting the Bangladesh board to come back with its response this week. We are hopeful of them agreeing to tour Pakistan for the series as their security delegation went back satisfied with the security arrangements and drills we demonstrated to them when they visited Islamabad, Karachi and Lahore last week," chief operating officer, Subhan Ahmad said.
Ahmad made it clear that while it was decided the matches would be played at Karachi and Lahore, the dates would be decided once the BCB confirmed the tour.
The PCB is keen to host two matches in Karachi and one in Lahore, while the BCB want it the other way.
Ahmad said that the PCB had stressed on the importance of restoring international cricket activities in Pakistan during the chief executives meeting of the International Cricket Council last week.
"The ICC agreed to the special dispensation for the series," said Ahmad.
The ICC last week made it clear that it would allow non-neutral officials for the series in case security apprehensions didn`t allow it to send its officials for the series.
Pakistan has four umpires on the ICC elite and international panel including Aleem Dar, Asad Rauf, Ahsan Raza and Zameer Haider and will most probably appoint a match referee from Bangladesh or Pakistan for the series.
But sources said that the Pakistan Board while waiting for the BCB confirmation was also trying to convince a few referees on the ICC panel, who were sympathetic to Pakistan cricket, to officiate in the series assuring them of complete security during their stay in Pakistan.
Ahmad said while the series would be a short one but its long term impact on Pakistan`s chances of hosting regular international matches at home were many fold.
"We need to make a start somewhere and that is why the board Chairman, Zaka Ashraf since assuming charge has been working and coordinating constantly with the government and security agencies to make this tour possible."
No Test playing nation has toured Pakistan since March 2009 when militants attacked the visiting Sri Lankan team in Lahore, killing six Pakistani policemen and a van driver, and wounding five of the visiting players.