Pakistan cricket authorities voiced astonishment on Thursday at what they called an “extremely disturbing” development after a court in Dhaka ordered Bangladesh to postpone a tour over security fears.
The Tigers were set to play a 50-over game and a Twenty20 international on April 29-30 in Lahore, the first international cricket matches in Pakistan for three years.
But the high court in Dhaka ordered the team to delay the visit by at least four weeks while Bangladesh cricket authorities explained why the tour should go ahead despite security worries.
A Dhaka university teacher, Khandaker Didarus Salam, petitioned the court to cancel the tour on security grounds.
International cricket has been suspended in Pakistan since militants launched a deadly attack on the Sri Lankan team bus during the third test in Lahore in March 2009.
The Pakistan Cricket Board released a strongly worded statement voicing fury at the postponement of the Bangladesh tour.
“It is astonishing to note that a matter lacking any legal issue has been dragged in the court by petitioners who appear to have vested interest and want to jeopardize Pakistan-Bangladesh cricketing relations,” the statement said. “It is extremely disturbing to note for the PCB and Pakistan cricket fans and world cricketing nations that such an adverse order has been passed to block a bilateral cricket series.”
Pakistan had hoped the tour would encourage other foreign teams to visit and ultimately pave the way to a full resumption of home international series.
Former Pakistan captain Asif Iqbal blamed the Bangladesh Cricket Board.
“[The] Bangladesh Board has made a joke of Pakistan cricket,” Iqbal said. “[The] PCB should take them to the task because they are responsible.”