Pakistan call off tour of Bangladesh

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Pakistan’s cricket chief said Thursday that a scheduled visit to Bangladesh this summer has been postponed for at least a year after the Bangladeshis refused to reciprocate the tour because of security fears.

Pakistan was due to play two Tests, three one-day internationals and a Twenty20 match in Bangladesh in July and August.

But the militancy-wracked country has been forced to host most of its matches overseas after an attack on the Sri Lankan team in 2009, barring a limited over series against Zimbabwe in 2015.

Security has improved over the past two years and some foreign players have tentatively endorsed returning.

But cricket chief Shaharyar Khan said Bangladesh had turned down the invitation.

He told AFP he had spoken to Bangladesh cricket board representatives on the sidelines of an International Cricket Council meeting in Dubai, and ‘decided to postpone the series for one or two years’.

‘But we will definitely play them,’ Khan added.

‘We toured Bangladesh in 2012 and 2015 without Bangladesh reciprocating so we hope they will discuss further and find a solution,’ he said.

When Pakistan last toured Bangladesh in 2015 they demanded a share of the revenue, and were reportedly paid $325,000 by the hosts.

Since the suspension of international cricket Pakistan have been forced to play all their home series in the neutral venues of the United Arab Emirates.

But the successful staging of the Pakistan Super League in Lahore in March has boosted long-held hopes of bringing the sport home to the cricket-obsessed nation.

The Pakistan Cricket Board sees a World XI tour of the country in September for a short Twenty20 series as another positive step.

‘Some progress has also been made on the World XI tour and we hope that that tour will further help us in reviving international cricket in Pakistan,’ said Khan.

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