Lahore: The Pakistan Cricket Board might be disappointed by the postponement of the one-day series against Bangladesh but many experts feel even that visit would have not helped to revive international cricket in the country.
"I am not surprised by the Bangladesh pull-out. Neither am I disappointed because I always felt inviting them would serve no purpose," former Test player Mohsin Khan said. Mohsin, who was until recently was the chief selector and then the national team coach, said he had maintained that inviting a weak team like Bangladesh would not influence other bigger nations to come and play in Pakistan.
Former PCB chairman and diplomat Shaharyar Khan also felt the PCB was following the wrong path in its efforts to revive international cricket in the country, but he advised the PCB to focus on the lower-ranked teams. "While it is unfortunate that the postponement came after the confirmation by the Bangladesh board, but I would advice the PCB to target the lower-ranked teams and invite them to Pakistan instead of chasing Test-playing nations," he said.
Many experts feel even a visit by Bangladesh would not have helped to revive international cricket in Pakistan.
"We should start from the lower-ranked teams. The PCB must focus on inviting Associate Members or other club-level teams to play with our second-string sides. It should host such teams on a regular basis and by doing that repeatedly, with success, a soft impression will definitely be created, which will start attracting top teams. At the same time, international players from other games like hockey, tennis and boxing should also be invited. I don't see the drought ending without this process taking place, especially after the postponement of Bangladesh's tour."
Shaharyar, who played a pivotal role in bringing the Indian team to Pakistan in 2004 when he was the PCB chairman, said there also had to be complete government backing for the PCB efforts to bear results. "The PCB needs to have government backing and the support of the different ministries to get teams to come to Pakistan. I have no doubt [that] there must be some political influence behind the decision of Bangladesh to postpone the tour to Pakistan, but whatever it is, it is a huge setback for Pakistan."
Lt. General (Retd) Tauqie Zia, another former PCB chairman, advised against taking impulsive decisions in context of relations with Bangladesh. "Bangladesh have not behaved fairly in all this issue, but we should still remain patient and not take a hasty decision which would have a negative effect on our relations with them. We must look at the future as well," he said.