Pakistan cricket chief Zaka Ashraf yesterday said Bangladesh’s short tour will help revive the suspended sport in his country. Bangladesh on Sunday confirmed it will play a one-day and a Twenty20 match in Lahore this month, matches which will reintroduce international cricket to Pakistan following its suspension in the wake of 2009 attacks on the Sri Lankan team bus.
“I am sure the Bangladesh tour will break the ice, and the breakthrough achieved during President Asif Ali Zardari’s tour to India will also help in the revival of Indo-Pak cricket,” Ashraf told a press conference. Last week Zardari reportedly requested Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh to send his national team to Pakistan. Singh promised to talk to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) over the matter.
Ashraf said he wants to revive cricket ties with India, stalled in the wake of 2008 terrorists attacks on Mumbai which killed 166 people and were blamed on militants based in Pakistan.
“I had a good meeting with BCCI president (Narayanan) Srinivasan and this time he was more positive on the revival of the ties,” said Ashraf of his talk on the sidelines of International Cricket Council (ICC) meeting in Dubai.
“I thank the ICC Board for the way they appreciated the revival of cricket and approved of it. The situation is not like it was in 2009. Since cricket was suspended in Pakistan our grounds were left deserted but things have improved and I hope more teams will come after the Bangladesh team's tour,” added Ashraf.
The Bangladesh team is due to arrive on April 27. They play a 50-over game on April 29 and a Twenty20 the following day.