Cricket was suspended in Pakistan for quite some time after the terrorist attack on a Sri Lankan team bus in 2009. In recent years, Zimbabwe, West Indies and Sri Lanka have toured Pakistan but only for a short tour, with teams reluctant to travel there because of security concerns.
Bangladesh have a scheduled tour of Pakistan in the latter parts of January and that has led to a feud between the boards as the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) are willing to only play a T20 series there when the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) is pushing for a full tour, including two Test matches.
But Pakistani batsmen Ahmed Shehzad, who is Dhaka Platoon's latest foreign recruit in the ongoing Bangabandhu Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) T20 2019-20, thinks that Pakistan is a safe country and if it was up to him, he would have surely toured Pakistan.
"For me, Pakistan is a safe country. Our forces are doing whatever it takes to ensure that international cricket comes back home, providing Presidential level security to the players," he said.
He further added, "Sri Lanka just came and the tour was really successful. It is totally Bangladesh cricket's decision, whatever they feel, they should do it. But if you ask me personally, I would have really enjoyed going to Pakistan, enjoy the beautiful wickets, the hospitality and food there. So for me, it is a perfect place for going and playing cricket."
Shehzad also thanked the PCB and the others who had been vital in returning international cricket to Pakistan. "The credit really goes to the cricket board and the people who have been working really hard behind the scenes to convince the teams and making sure the security levels are there to bring international cricket back home," the 28-year old added.
Shehzad has returned to the BPL after a couple of seasons, the last time he played was for Cumilla Victorians, where Mashrafe Mortaza was his skipper, in the 2015-16 season when the team were crowned Champions. He talked about his team, Dhaka Platoon and praised his teammates Mashrafe and Tamim.
"There are a couple of very good aspects of the team like there is a good combination of seniors and the way the seniors, Tamim and Mashrafe are leading the juniors and motivating them. I think it becomes really easy for any foreigner when the team is already gelled. So, you just have to come here and gel up with the team and play your part," the Pakistani batsman said.
He further added that Dhaka Platoon coach, Mohammad Salahuddin, was his favourite and he was looking forward to working with the team.
Shehzad had lit up the BPL in the very first season when he scored a 40-ball century for Barisal Bulls, which still remains the fastest century in BPL history. Shehzad has a total of 937 runs in BPL, with an average around 41.
Dhaka Platoon's next match is at Sylhet against Khulna Tigers, which is likely to be Shehzad's first match of this edition.