PCB rules out any chance of playing B`desh at neutral venue

Lahore: The Pakistan Cricket Board has ruled out any chance of playing Bangladesh at a neutral venue next month if the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) refuses to send its team to Pakistan. A senior official of the Pakistan Board made it clear that there were absolutely no plans of hosting Bangladesh in the UAE or any other neutral venue if they did not come to Pakistan to play the three-match ODI series.

"The problem is that it would just not be cost effective for us to play them at any neutral venue," said Subhan Ahmed, the Chief Operating Officer of the PCB. The PCB had invited the Bangladesh board to send its team to Pakistan next month for a short series but is still waiting for a response from its counterpart.

Ahmed said that the BCB had not responded either in yes or no but had admitted that with time running out it seemed difficult that the series would be held in Pakistan.

"The situation doesn`t seem very positive. But there is no chance we can play them at a neutral venue," he insisted.

While the BCB officials have deferred the decision on sending their team to Pakistan until the ICC (International Cricket Council) board meeting next month in Dubai, Ahmed said by that time it would be too late to arrange the series.

Meanwhile, the PCB official said relations with the BCB remained good and steady despite the latter`s "unnecessary" move to appeal to the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) that Pakistani pacer Aizaz Cheema had indulged in unsporting behaviour during the Asia Cup final in Mirpur against Bangladesh last week.

But the ACC had dismissed the appeal from the BCB, which claimed Bangladesh should be awarded five runs as Cheema had deliberately tried to block its batsman Mahmudullah Riyad in the final over of the match that Pakistan won by two runs.

"We thought the appeal was unnecessary but we have taken no offence to it and it was their right. But we had always maintained only the match officials can decide on penalty runs in such a situation," Ahmed said.