KARACHI - Pakistan Cricket Board's acting chairman Najam Sethi has conceded that the national team may have to pull out of the forthcoming Asia Cup and World Twenty20 in Bangladesh owing to security concerns.
Sethi said a TV channel in Dubai, where he has gone to witness the Pakistan and Sri Lanka matches, that if the foreign office advised the PCB not to send the team to Bangladesh, the board would have to comply. "We are keeping the foreign office informed about the situation and our correspondence with the International Cricket Council and Bangladesh board and there could be different scenarios in the near future for our team," he said.
Sethi said one scenario could be Pakistan asking for special security for its players in Bangladesh for both the mega events. "The other could be not sending our team if we get such advice from the foreign office and ministry," Sethi said. The ICC executive board is due to meet in Dubai on January 25 and the ACC council will also meet next month to discuss the situation in Bangladesh where the trials of the 1971 war criminals have led to rising tensions between Pakistan and Bangladesh.
Protests have been continuing in Bangladesh against a resolution passed in the Pakistan national assembly over the execution of a Jamaat-e-Islami leader, who opposed the creation of Bangladesh. The protesters have been calling on the government to end diplomatic ties with Pakistan.
Sethi said the PCB had also been in touch with the ICC over the security situation in Bangladesh. Reports say that Sri Lanka, South Africa and India are being considered as alternate venues in case the ICC is forced to move the World T20 from Bangladesh next month while a PCB official has said that if the Asia Cup is not held from late February it could be postponed for an indefinite period as there is no alternate venue in place now for the event.