Nazmul Hassan Papon. Getty Images
Bangladesh have given the green signal for Under-23 team to travel to Pakistan for the upcoming ACC Emerging Teams Asia Cup to be held from December 6.
Nazmul Hassan, the BCB president, has said that one of the main reasons to send the team to Pakistan despite security concerns is that the staging of the tournament in two groups could be a question mark if Bangladesh had reservations from touring Pakistan, like India. However, he maintained that there are no plans as of now for the senior team to play international matches in Pakistan.
Nazmul, who took over as the president of ACC last month, also revealed that they will address the concerns by sending a delegation that can gauge security measures.
"The tournament will be co-hosted by Sri Lanka and Pakistan. India, Sri Lanka, Oman and Afghanistan have been placed in Group A. Meanwhile, Pakistan, Hong Kong, Bangladesh are part of Group B.
"There are two reasons behind sending [the Under-23] team for the Emerging Cup in Pakistan. Firstly, it will be hosted in two groups respectively - in Sri Lanka and Pakistan. India have reservations regarding touring Pakistan, so if we say that we also do have reservations, then it will be difficult to play the tournament over two groups.
"Sri Lanka, naturally, want to play in their home soil. It is [also] right that there is security concern and even I went to Pakistan and raised the issue. I don't think there will be any problem. We will take our precaution. We will send such persons who are experienced regarding security issues," he added.
Nazmul, though, clarified that Bangladesh's senior team will continue to play Pakistan at a neutral venue. On a positive note, he pointed out that Sri Lanka's senior team had toured Pakistan last year. Bangladesh's women's team, too, had travelled to the Asian country. So they have not completely shut the door on the national team touring Pakistan in the future. Incidentally, in April 2015, the board had paid the PCB $325,000 as compensation for postponing a couple of tours to Pakistan in 2012.
"As of now, we have decided that we will play against Pakistan in a neutral venue. Our women's team went there while Sri Lanka also visited them. We are seeing what ICC is thinking about it. If we don't see any security threat and we receive green signal from ICC we might think [of it]. But we don't have any desire to play international matches in Pakistan."