State Minister for Youth and Sports Zahid Ahsan Russell has said that Bangladesh would only send its cricket team to Pakistan for a proposed three-match T20I and two-match Test series if a thorough assessment of the security situation prevailing there deems it safe.
"Ensuring the security (of the Bangladesh contingent) is the first priority. We've asked to know from Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) if they are sending the team. Already we've come to know many of the players and staff and their families, are reluctant about touring there," the state minister said on Sunday.
"Whatever BCB decides, whether we send the team or not will depend on the security situation," he added.
Russell came up with the remarks while talking to the journalists at a press conference for a Youth Capital 2020 program at the Secretariat.
The BCB is yet to inform the ministry about a decision either way over touring Pakistan, Russell informed. Once they do, the government can proceed on the question of assessing the security situation.
"We would sit in an inter-ministry meeting with the Home Ministry about what kind of security measures the Pakistan government is going to take regarding the visit of Bangladesh cricket team once BCB informs us of their decision over going to Pakistan," Russell stated.
Later, the Bangladesh government would directly communicate with the Pakistani government about their security measures, he said.
"The security of our players is the first priority as they are our assets. Certainly we would ensure their full security before sending them to Pakistan," he added.
Earlier, on December 26, BCB president Nazmul Hassan said that the board is yet to get a positive response from the government to tour Pakistan.
He also mentioned that many of the national players are not keen on going to Pakistan – where international cricket only returned earlier this month after a gap of 10 years - to play a full series.
The state minister also said he was unaware of the findings of an advance team that had recently visited Pakistan.