Pakistan has threatened to retaliate if India does not participate in this year’s Asia Cup. It follows reports in some quarters that Pakistan, who were chosen as hosts for the tournament in September, have agreed to forsake the right in exchange for Bangladesh agreeing to send a team for a three-match T20I series followed by two test matches.
However, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), led by their Chief Executive Wasim Khan have refuted such suggestions, saying it is not within their prerogative or that of the ICC to decide where the tournament should be held, and that it was solely in the gift of the Asia Cricket Council.
Khan also indicated that, in the event that India refused to tour, his country, in turn, would boycott the T20I World Cup which India is organising next year. Last week the BCCI reiterated that India would not tour Pakistan because of security concerns. Apart from the continued tensions in Kashmir which represent a festering source of tensions between the two countries, the safety of touring teams in Pakistan remains a major bone of contention.
In March 2009 the Sri Lankan team coach en route to a test match in Lahore was attacked by terrorists resulting in the death of six policemen. A number of people were injured, including several Sri Lankan cricketers and match officials who were travelling in a mini-bus behind the coach.
Pakistan did not play another test match on their own soil for more than a decade with the vast majority of their home matches taking place in the UAE. Zimbabwe briefly toured there in 2015, and there were also matches against a representative international team, and Sri Lanka also played a T20I series there in 2017.
However, it was not until last month that test cricket returned to the country, with Sri Lanka agreeing to tour once again, but not before months of wrangling, and the provisions of stringent security. And, even then some of the tourists’ leading cricketers refused to go.
In the end, though their tour passed off without incident as has, the visit of Bangladesh who is in the midst of a T20I series. That will be followed by two test matches against the hosts.
For their part, Pakistan maintains that is now as safe to tour there as it is to visit certain parts of injury, and are quick to point out the unrest that swept Guwahati and a number of other parts of India as protests were staged against the CAA (Citizenship Amendment Act).