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04 October 2023

Pakistan board expects tour of Bangladesh to go ahead

By Reuters
Pakistan expect to tour Bangladesh as scheduled this month despite Tuesday's attack on the Sri Lanka team in Lahore, the country's cricket board said.

"The team will be going to Bangladesh on March 7 and we have asked for clearance from the (Pakistan) government which we are expecting in the next few days," Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ejaz Butt told reporters on Wednesday.

He said the Bangladesh board had cleared the tour but the PCB had also asked for clearance from its own government to ensure proper security for the players.

Pakistan had already been promised tight security for the limited-overs series following a mutiny in Bangladesh's paramilitary headquarters last month in which at least 56 army officers were killed.

On Tuesday, about a dozen gunmen attacked the Sri Lanka team's bus in Lahore, wounding six players and a British coach and killing seven Pakistanis as they were being driven to the Gaddafi stadium for a test match.

The second test between Pakistan and Sri Lanka was called off and the visiting team returned home late on Tuesday.

Chief selector Abdul Qadir said he had spoken to the Pakistan players and they were getting over the incident.

The selectors have left fast bowler Shoaib Akhtar out of the 16-man squad for the Bangladesh tour, which starts on Tuesday and includes five one-dayers and two Twenty20 matches.

Akhtar ruled himself out of the test series against Sri Lanka due to a knee injury but was available for the Bangladesh tour after doctors told him the problem did not require surgery.

"I had asked Shoaib to play a first class match to prove his fitness which he didn't for some reason," Qadir said, adding that the paceman could not be considered until the selectors were satisfied with his fitness and form.

Three uncapped players have been included in the squad -- opener Ahmed Shahzad, 16-year-old fast bowler Mohammad Aamer and leg-spinner, Yasir Shah.

Squad; Younis Khan (captain), Salman Butt, Shahid Afridi, Nasir Jamshed, Ahmed Shahzad, Shoaib Malik, Misbah-ul-Haq, Kamran Akmal, Fawad Alam, Umar Gul, Sohail Tanvir, Mohammad Aamer, Yasir Arafat, Yasir Shah, Rao Iftikhar, Sarfraz Ahmed.