The Pakistani cricket authorities might be maintaining a diplomatic stance on their national team’s participation in the forthcoming Asia Cup and World T20 events in Bangladesh, to be held early next year, but chances of a pullout are looming large.
There are concerns in the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) about the situation in Bangladesh and the growing anti-Pakistan sentiments. “We are monitoring the situation but we are waiting to see what the International Cricket Council decides in January whether to hold the World T20 in Bangladesh in March-April or shift it somewhere else,” he said.
“If the ICC shifts the World T20 from Bangladesh then the Asia Cup (in Feb-March) will also be called off in Bangladesh and postponed for the next few months until a feasible window and host is found for the tournament,” he said.
The official said that since both events were multi-nation tournaments, the PCB would wait to see how the Asian Cricket Council and ICC react to the situation in Bangladesh.
But he didn’t rule out the possibility of Pakistan independently deciding to pull out of the events if the situation in Bangladesh deteriorated.
“That is an option always open to us because if we feel it is not secure for our team in Bangladesh or if we get advice from the government then we will have to act accordingly,” the source said.
Ahmad said the PCB was hoping that the security situation would improve in Pakistan so that it could make a strong case for a revival of international cricket in the country.
“People perhaps don’t realise how difficult it is for us that includes the board and players to not be able to have a series at home. We are fortunate that cricket is still flourishing in Pakistan as a top sport,” he said.
Ahmad revealed that because of the circumstances the board also lost revenues in broadcasting deals. “We lose some revenues when we have to play our homematches at neutral venues.”
The Pakistan team will be free of any international commitments after the World T20 ends in Bangladesh in April till October. And Ahmad hoped that the Pakistani players get a chance to play in the Indian Premier League and Champions League this time around.
“We are sensing this time our players will be invited to the IPL since our teams have now gone twice to the Champions League,” he said.
The acting Chairman of the board,