ISLAMABAD - Former Test cricketer Sarfraz Nawaz feels Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) should send the national team to Bangladesh to feature in this year's Asia Cup saying cricket should be kept away from politics.
The PCB had earlier announced that Pakistan's participation in the event to be played from February 25 to March 7 will base on the report of the security expert who will go to Dhaka on January 20. The tournament will now be a five-team contest as Afghanistan has been invited to participate in it. It may be mentioned here that Sri Lanka has also offered the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) to host the event. However, Ex-PCB chairman Ijaz Butt has said it was better to pick the UAE as a neutral venue for the Asia Cup since Bangladesh might not be ready to accept Sri Lanka as alternate hosts.
Sarfraz added: “We should not mix sports or cricket with politics. Asia Cup is a big event and we should participate in it. The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) and the Bangladesh government must have planned fool-proof security for the visiting teams in the mega event.”
He said the situation in Bangladesh was not like the tournament needed to be shifted to some other country as the trouble there is political not terrorism. "The situation will get better as days pass," he added.
Speaking of Pakistan's poor batting performance in the second Test against Sri Lanka, he said: “Our batsmen have only this much capacity of scoring runs.” Pakistan team was all out on 165 runs in the first innings. "The National Cricket Academy (NCA) has batting, fielding, bowling coaches and all provided to the players there besides having foreign coaches to assist them, but still the team performs like this then there is no justification," he questioned the PCB?
Responding on the Interim Management Committee chairman Najam Sethi who said a local coach would be hired in place of Dav Whatmore after completion of his tenure next month, Sarfraz said if players were provided with good training camps in the NCA then it would prove fruitful.