Zaka meets ICC, BCB; stresses on need for teams to tour Pak

Lahore: PCB chief Zaka Ashraf has spent thelast two days in Dubai trying to convince the ICC and Bangladesh cricket Board how important it is for them to support restoration of international cricket in the country.

During the course of his talks with Bangladesh cricket chief, Mustafa Kamal, Zaka has also proposed that Pakistan play its league matches of a planned tri-nation tournament to be hosted by the Bangladesh board in Pakistan.

"The tournament will involve Pakistan and Sri Lanka besides the hosts and the idea is that Pakistan should be allowed to play atleast two of its league matches in Pakistan against the two other teams," one source said.

Zaka also said that he had also asked his Bangladeshi counterpart to send the Bangladesh team to Pakistan next year for its future tour program series.

Kamal told reporters after his meeting with Zaka that Bangladesh board was not in a position to take a decision on sending its team to Pakistan and this can only be possible after the ICC gives its security clearance for the tour.

Zaka said he had assured the ICC and Bangladesh board that Pakistan would have foolproof security for the Bangladesh team and all security measures would be put in place with consultation of ICC experts and advisors.

"We will have bullet proof vehicles for the teams and the routes on which teams travel between their hotel and ground would be sealed off when they are passing through it," he said.

Zaka, who took over as PCB chief from Ejaz Butt last month, said he had emphasized on the need for international teams to start touring Pakistan during his meetings with the ICC and Bangladesh board officials.

"The meetings were very positive and there will be follow-ups with all stake holders. We are willing to work closely with the ICC to ensure touring teams can regain confidence about playing in Pakistan," he added.

Mustafa Kamal also told reporters that while his board felt for Pakistan cricket and wanted to help them they will have to go by ICC and government advice and clearance.

"We want to help Pakistan cricket as they have always helped and supported us. But we need to follow certain ICC protocols," he added.

Pakistan is due to tour Bangladesh from November 26 while BD is due for a return visit to Pakistan in April next year. Pakistan has not toured Bangladesh for a full Test series since 2002 while BD also last came to Pakistan in 2008 for a one-day series.

Relations between the two boards soured after the militants attack on the Sri Lankan team in March, 2009 in Lahore after which Bangladesh also joined the other Test playing nations in supporting a move to move the 2011 World Cup matches out of Pakistan due to security issues.

Zaka also confirmed that he would be consulting the PCB governing board members on the issue of whether Pakistan should let Bangladesh nominate a unanimous candidate for the ICC VP and President position.

Pakistan and Bangladesh have to jointly nominate a candidate by December 31st and send it to ICC.

Pakistan has decided to use the option of allowing Bangladesh to nominate a candidate and in return get a confirmation from them they will play in Pakistan next year.


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