Dhaka: Bangladesh coach Stuart Law has expressed fears about the team's scheduled tour to troubled Pakistan, where international cricket has been suspended for three years. Bangladesh are set to be the first team to visit Pakistan since a militant attack on the Sri Lankan team bus during the Lahore Test in 2009, when eight people died and seven visiting players and an assistant coach were injured.
"It's got to be made sure by the two associating boards that everyone is 100 percent safe to go," he said in comments reported in Tuesday's Dhaka-based New Age newspaper. "I cannot speak on behalf of the players. I have spent time with the players and everyone is a bit concerned. Not just Bangladesh, but the other teams as well. The first initial response from the players around the world is: 'I don't want to go.'"
Bangladesh will play one 50-over game and a Twenty20 international on April 29 and 30 in Lahore, a move hailed by Pakistani political leaders, players and fans. But newspapers in Bangladesh criticised Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) chief Mustafa Kamal for agreeing to the tour. The New Age daily described the decision as "irresponsible, unprofessional, autocratic and downright selfish".
Law, from Australia, declined to confirm if he would go on the tour, while Bangladesh's cricket authorities said they were seeking clearance from the International Cricket Council (ICC). Foreign teams shunned Pakistan after the 2009 attacks, forcing them to play their home series on neutral venues, mostly in the United Arab Emirates.