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Rediff.com  » Cricket » Pakistan mulls Asia Cup, WT20 pull-out in Bangladesh

Pakistan mulls Asia Cup, WT20 pull-out in Bangladesh

Last updated on: December 20, 2013 13:19 IST

Pakistan's cricket authorities are maintaining a diplomatic stance on the national team's participation in the forthcoming Asia Cup and World T20 in Bangladesh early next year, but chances of a pull-out loom large.

PCB chairman Najam SethiA source told PTI that there are concerns in the Pakistan Cricket Board about the situation in Bangladesh and growing anti-Pakistan sentiments.

"We are monitoring the situation but we are waiting to see what the International Cricket Council decides in January, whether to hold the World T20 in Bangladesh in March-April or shift it somewhere else," he said.

"If the ICC shifts the World T20 from Bangladesh, then the Asia Cup (in Feb-March) will also be called off in Bangladesh and postponed for the next few months until a feasible window and host is found for the tournament," he said.

The official said that since both events are multi-nation tournaments, the PCB will wait to see how the Asian Cricket Council and ICC react to the situation in Bangladesh.

But he did not rule out the possibility of Pakistan independently deciding to pull out of the events if the situation in Bangladesh deteriorates.

"That is an option always open to us because if we feel it is not secure for our team in Bangladesh, or if we get advice from the government, then we will have to act accordingly," the source said.

Protests against Pakistan have grown in Bangladesh since the Pakistan parliament passed a resolution against the execution of a Jamaat-e-Islaami leader in Bangladesh, who opposed the creation of Bangladesh in 1971 and was treated as a war criminal.

On Thursday, protesters demanded that the Bangladesh government sever all diplomatic relations with Pakistan.

The Pakistan foreign office has also said it is monitoring the situation in Bangladesh and will advise the PCB in due course of time.

Meanwhile, the Bangladesh Cricket Board said it is hopeful of things settling down after the elections in January.

Relations between the Pakistan and Bangladesh boards deteriorated in the last two years after Bangladesh twice pulled out of short tours to Pakistan despite making commitments.

"Yes, there is a anti-Bangladesh lobby in the PCB and if the situation does not improve, there could be a pull-out," a source in the board said.

He pointed out that Pakistan was aware that the ICC was also in a tight spot as 25 per cent of their revenues from the World T20 are dependent on the Pakistan and India opening match of the tournament.

Image: PCB chairman Najam Sethi

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