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Bangladesh tour of Pakistan: A timeline of the PCB-BCB deadlock
Bangladesh Tour of Pakistan

Bangladesh tour of Pakistan: A timeline of the PCB-BCB deadlock

The fate of Bangladesh's upcoming tour to Pakistan continues to be shrouded in uncertainty as the two nation's cricket bodies are unable to reach an agreement.

With reports emerging of Bangladesh standing firm on their stance on playing T20Is before giving the green signal for the Tests, we take a look at the timeline of the ongoing PCB-BCB deadlock.

1 November 2019: Bangladesh yet to give go-ahead for Pakistan tour in January

The first seeds of doubt were sown by Bangladesh in November when BCB CEO Nizamuddin Chowdhury said the two-match Test and three-game T20I series was hinging on discussions between the board and the ICC.

His comments came after the successful tour of the Bangladesh women's team and the U16 side to Pakistan the previous month.

"The factors of the men’s national team and others [age-level and women’s team] differ,” Chowdhury told reporters.

“We will look into the report from Bangladesh High Commission and from the team that has done the security assessment. We also need to speak to ICC because they sent a separate team to assess conditions because they have to assign match officials."

9 December 2019: Bangladesh consider possibility of split series with Pakistan

BCB floated the idea of playing the T20Is in Pakistan and the Test matches at a neutral venue after receiving the draft itinerary of the proposed tour.

"We may ask Pakistan to split the Test and T20I series. The issue of day-night Tests will be decided later because it depends on the government’s security report and whether we will tour Pakistan or not," BCB cricket operations committee chairman Akram Khan said.

BCB claimed the stringent security arrangements would offer a 'suffocating' environment to the players over an extended period of time during Test matches.

Meanwhile, Akram maintained the Sri Lanka Test tour of Pakistan would not have any effect on their final decision.

15 December 2019: Will not pressurize any player to go to Pakistan, says BCB chief Nazmul Hassan

BCB president Nazmul Hassan said the board would still take consent of the players willing to travel to Pakistan even if they receive security clearance from the government.

He hinted at the possibility of sending "replacement" players if the first-choice cricketers pulled out of the tour.

"If any player doesn't want to go, he will not go there. We will not pressurize anyone. The board will not pressurize any player to go to Pakistan. I don't think it's time to talk about the replacement team. It will depend on the situation," he told reporters in Mirpur.

"After security clearance, it will be the opinion of the cricketers. We want to hear who wants to go or who doesn't."

23 December 2019: 'Will be a huge disappointment if Bangladesh refuse to play Tests in Pakistan' – Misbah-ul-Haq

Pakistan head coach Misbah-ul-Haq and Test skipper Azhar Ali disapproved of Bangladesh's reluctance to tour Pakistan following the conclusion of the historic Sri Lanka Tests in the country.

“It will be a huge disappointment if Bangladesh don’t come to Pakistan to play Test cricket,” Misbah said.

“There is no excuse not to visit Pakistan now, security is just a lame excuse, teams are now coming, even you’re agreeing to play T20Is then why are you reluctant to play Test cricket? It will be great injustice to Pakistan."

"I'm sure the PCB is looking at this, but I don't understand what the reason for not visiting could be," Azhar stated.

The same day, PCB chairman Ehsan Mani adopted a hard-line stance on the tour and ruled out the option of Tests at a neutral venue.

"All of Pakistan's matches, against Bangladesh or anyone else, will take place in Pakistan,” he said.

25 December 2019: 'We only want to play T20Is in Pakistan' - BCB CEO Nizamuddin Chowdhury

BCB CEO Chowdhury reiterated Bangladesh would be keen on playing the Tests outside of Pakistan in response to Mani's statement.

“We stand firm on our ground. We only want to play T20Is in Pakistan. The stakeholders related to the series do not want us to play longer-version cricket in Pakistan,” he said.

“Actually, we have no other option here. We can play the T20Is but if we are to play Tests then it should be in a neutral venue."

1 January 2020: Bangladesh coach Russell Domingo prepared to tour Pakistan

Bangladesh head coach Russell Domingo expressed his willingness to travel to Pakistan provided the board sends its team for the tour.

"If we have to, then I am going," he told New Age.

"I think we can only discuss the matter once the decision is made. We need to discuss with the cricket board and the board will decide what will happen next."

Domingo's remarks followed reports of some members of the Bangladesh backroom staff wary of touring Pakistan.

12 January 2020: Bangladesh government tell BCB to keep Pakistan tour 'short'

Bangladesh government tells BCB to keep the Pakistan tour short following the ongoing tensions between US and Iran. 

"We are clear cut, but let's see how they react," BCB chief Nazmul Hasan said after the board meeting [as quoted by Cricinfo]. "As far as security is concerned, T20 is a better option."

"They should be happy that we still want to go to play T20s. We just wanted rescheduling [of the Tests], not saying we won't tour."

"This is the best thing we can offer to Pakistan."

13 January 2020: PCB, BCB officials to meet in Dubai to discuss Bangladesh tour of Pakistan

Pakistan Cricket Board issues a statement following Nazmul Hasan's response on keeping the tour 'short'. The officials from two boards will meet on the sidelines of the ICC Governance Review Committee meeting.

"The Dubai meeting is a continuation of the discussion process, which the PCB has followed to reach a consensus with the BCB on its national men’s cricket team’s tour itinerary," PCB said in a statement.

14 January 2020: Bangladesh agree to tour Pakistan for two Tests, three T20Is, one-off ODI

The ice is finally broken as two boards finally come to a conclusion. Bangladesh agree to play three T20Is, two Tests and one-off ODI in Pakistan. The series will be divided in two phases. Three T20Is and one Test will be played before Pakistan Super League while one-off ODI and the other Test will be played after the conclusion of PSL on March 22.

The three T20Is will be played in Lahore. Rawalpindi will host the first Test while one-off ODI and second Test will be played in Karachi.

“I am pleased that we have amicably achieved a resolution that is in the best interest of this great sport as well as both the proud cricket playing countries,” said Ehsan Mani in a statement released by the PCB.

“I also want to thank ICC Chairman Shaskank Manohar for the leadership he provided and ensured the sport continues to grow and thrive in the two countries.”

With additional inputs from Waqas Zafar