Bangladesh Women will be going to Pakistan on September 28, to play two ODIs and two T20s. All four games will be in Lahore.* It will be the first tour to the country by a representative side from Bangladesh since the attack on the Sri Lankan team in Lahore in 2009.
BCB president Nazmul Hassan made the announcement at his residence on Thursday, saying the hosts have said they will provide the team with VVIP security.
The confirmation came after the Bangladesh government had given the tour the green light through the sports ministry on Tuesday.
Earlier this month, a security team from Bangladesh visited Lahore and Karachi to assess the safety arrangements. Karachi’s Southend Cricket Club had been considered as a venue, but in the end it was decided to restrict the tour to Lahore.
“We received the order from the government through the sports ministry,” Hassan said. “Now it is up to us. The Bangladesh team will go on September 27 or 28. We just have to iron out some of the details. But the women’s team is going. It is final.”
Hassan said that the participation of Bangladeshi football and handball teams in events in Pakistan in the last few years suggested that the BCB should also think about sending a team. He said that the security team found security measures “satisfactory” but the BCB asked for the VVIP level of security.
“We have been discussing for a long time about sending a women’s team to Pakistan. Football and handball women’s teams went to Pakistan, so since there was a feeling among them that BCB doesn’t want to send a cricket team, we decided to send a strong security team first.
“According to their report – an accident can happen anywhere, that’s a different issue – the security measures are satisfactory. We sent them some additional requirements like giving the team VVIP security. They have accepted it. They have also complied with all that we asked of them about crowds, open gates and nearby areas. Now we can say that we don’t have anything to say on the security issue.”
He said the BCB’s senior vice-president Mahbubul Anam, women’s wing chairman MA Awal Chowdhury and the board’s security head will accompany the team to Pakistan.
The tour schedule and the squad will be announced shortly.
Last month, when talk of the tour surfaced, some of the Bangladesh players had expressed unease. The BCB higher-ups, along with a security official from the Bangladesh High Commission in Pakistan, had a discussion with the players earlier this month. It was learned that the players then expressed their satisfaction and agreed to tour Pakistan.
This will be the first cricket team sent by the BCB to Pakistan since 2008, when the men’s team last toured. It is a significant step, since Bangladesh reneged on two tours in 2012, which created a breach in the relationship between the two cricket boards.
*11.45GMT, September 24: This article was updated once it was confirmed that Lahore will host all the games.