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Mar 04, 2012 at 10:04pm IST

Bangladesh keen to tour Pakistan

Islamabad: The head of the Bangladesh Cricket Board said on Sunday that he would try to bring international cricket back to Pakistan after voicing satisfaction with security arrangements in the country, provided, though, that the tour gets the approval of the International Cricket Council (ICC).

Pakistan have invited Bangladesh to tour next month in a bid to revive international cricket in the country after it was suspended following the terrorist attacks on the Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore three years ago.

A nine-member Bangladesh security delegation arrived early on Friday and inspected arrangements in Islamabad, Karachi and Lahore. They were briefed over the possible security setup by the interior ministry in Islamabad.

Bangladesh keen to tour Pakistan

BCB president Mustafa Kamal is leading a nine-member delegation to assess security in Pakistan.

Head of the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB), Mustafa Kamal said: "We are satisfied with the arrangements which would be in place for our team and now this delegation will submit a report to the government, which has the final authority to decide on the tour."

Kamal witnessed on Sunday a dress rehearsal of how the teams will be driven to the ground from their hotel in Lahore, with dozens of security personnel deployed roadside.

On March 3, 2009 gunmen ambushed the Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore, killing eight Pakistanis and wounding seven visiting players and their assistant coach.

The attack suspended international cricket in the country, stripped Pakistan of their 2011 World Cup hosting rights and forced them to play home series at neutral venues in England, New Zealand and the United Arab Emirates.

Pakistan have invited Bangladesh to play three one-day internationals or two one-day matches and a Twenty20 contest.

"We will also write a letter to the ICC over the assessment of the security and will seek their permission as they are the governing body of the game," said Kamal.

The ICC last month said it will conduct an independent security assessment before deciding whether to send their match officials for the series.

"We keep our fingers crossed and hope that international cricket will be revived with the Bangladesh team's tour to Pakistan as our government has promised foolproof security for the Bangladesh team," said Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Zaka Ashraf.

Punjab province chief minister Shahbaz Sharif also welcomed the possible revival of cricket in Pakistan.

"We will give the best possible security to the Bangladesh team and for the sake of millions of fans we want to revive international cricket in Pakistan," Sharif said.

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