Pak-Bangladesh series to be held as an alternative to Australia test tour: Nasim Ashraf

ISLAMABAD: Bangladesh have agreed in principle to play a one-day series in Pakistan next month as an alternative to Australia test tour, which was postponed because of security concerns.

The world champions were due to visit Pakistan at the end of this month for a 30-day tour but put the trip on hold after a spate of suicide bombings following the assassination of opposition leader Benazir Bhutto late last year.

Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Nasim Ashraf told a news conference that although Bangladesh were set to play next month, Pakistan were hoping the postponed series against Australia would be held soon.

“The series will be some time in April,” he said, referring to the Bangladesh tour, adding the venues and dates would be worked out in the next few days.

“We hope to host Australia for a full series before we go to there in late 2009,” Ashraf added.

“They took their decision after much deliberations and we accept that. We just want to hold this series soon.”

Ashraf hoped the Australian’s tour postponement would not affect the organisation of the Asia Cup in June or other ICC future tour programmes in Pakistan, including the Champions Trophy in September.

“We maintain conditions are still conducive to hold cricket events in Pakistan,” he added.

“Our security plans have also been very good. Teams have toured Pakistan in recent times and have had no problems. The Australians have based their decision on their own assessment of security situation in Pakistan.”

The PCB chief added that he did not feel Australia’s decision had anything to do with their players appearing in the Indian Premier League Twenty20 tournament in April.