Bangladesh are all set to tour Pakistan for the first phase of a three-part full series. After pondering long over security concerns and players safety BCB has greenlit the tour and the Bangladesh National Cricket team will fly to Pakistan on 22 January for three T20Is.
Amid the preparation, BCB President Nazmul Hassan said that the board had no other options but to tour Pakistan as the Test matches were part of ICCs World Test Championships. BCB is considering the prior tours as an assessment opportunity.
"If this was a bilateral series then it might have been a different scenario altogether. But this tour was scheduled by the ICC as part of the Test Championship. We will play T20Is and ODIs. ICC had scheduled the Test series, which was also home and away. We had no option of avoiding it. Also, as a full member of the ICC, I think we should participate. There was pressure. We, however, can assess the situation once we play the T20I series. If problems occur, then we can discuss that later.
"We have to keep in mind that a few of the teams have already toured Pakistan. They arranged a tournament where Tamim Iqbal played. International cricketers also started to visit. We did not take the initiative to visit Pakistan. Slowly and steadily other teams have started touring there." Nazmul said while talking to the media.
The BCB supremo said that he personally assured the players regarding the security measures and asked them to focus on the cricket.
"The players need not worry about security. We will take full preparation for the series. Players should not have these in their minds. They cannot play their natural game with security doubts in their heads. Playing cricket is very difficult without mental peace. T20s are tensed affairs. I told the players to keep a cool head. I will be staying with them. We will have meals together. I will be with them throughout the tour.
"ICC will also send a team. They have assessed the security situation. We are sending the team once they sent the clearance. It was hard for us not to go there after that. But, god forbid, if anything wrong happens, we will not go there again. And if we feel things are not actually what we assumed it to be, we can always change our decision. But until now, we think it is a safe place to tour and we can play. We should now focus on the game rather than worrying about security."
Also, BCB is making sure that members of the national security agencies accompany the team while they are in Pakistan. Nazmul re-iterated that BCB did all they could do to assure the player's security.
"NSI and DGFI members will be there at Pakistan before our team. Members of the security forces will accompany the team also. BCB will obviously be there. We did all we could have done. I have seen their security planning. Nothing more could have been done." said Nazmul.
The team will start on the 22nd and reach Pakistan on the 23rd. PCB have kept an evening slot for training on the 23rd. Finally, Nazmul said that the hunt for a bowling coach is over as BCB have finalized their choice. But, the name will be announced once the agreement is completed.
"We have finalized the bowling coach. But will not reveal the name before the final agreement. The announcement will come within tomorrow. We will decide whether he will travel with the team or not." Nazmul stated.