The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) will decide on Thursday if it will take up the PCB’s revised offer of playing two Tests in Pakistan later this month. ESPNcricinfo understands that the prospect of playing just a T20I series at the moment is off the table.
The BCB had earlier proposed to tour for the T20Is first, and decide on the Tests based on players’ feedback about security and other aspects of touring. The BCB’s primary issue was their inability to stay for an extended tour stretching beyond three weeks. But the PCB has now proposed to play two Tests, which will be part of the World Test Championship, and the T20Is closer to the T20 World Cup later this year.
Nazmul Hassan, the BCB president, called for an impromptu board meeting in Dhaka on Wednesday, to speak with the stakeholders.
“We have very little time in hand so we must decide by Thursday,” Hassan said. “We have to consider the consequences of not touring, which is what we discussed with everyone. We are not worried about the bilateral T20I series, but we are unclear about the World Test Championship.
“We said we want to play only T20Is, but they wanted us to play the Tests. We will play the T20Is bilaterally before the [T20] World Cup. This was PCB’s proposal today, but we haven’t decided yet. We will on Thursday.”
In an altered stance from earlier, the BCB appears to be willing to play a one-off Test only from a security standpoint, but the PCB isn’t keen on the proposal. As such, a one-off Test can’t be accommodated to be part of the World Test Championship.
“If you consider, it takes lesser time to play one Test than three T20Is. We will reach there the day before, and play five days,” Hassan explained. “It may take seven or eight days to play the T20I series. We never said we wouldn’t play in Pakistan. We are worried about duration. Everyone is a little nervous staying there for a longer period.”
Mushfiqur Rahim is unlikely to tour, while a number of other players want to stay only for a “shorter” period. However, the PCB wasn’t entirely convinced with the reasoning, citing that as many as 23 Bangladesh players had registered for the PSL draft fully knowing the tournament was to take place entirely in Pakistan this time.
“Mushfiqur never showed any interest to go to Pakistan,” Hassan said. “The others are more interested in a short tour. We informed the PCB about this but they responded by saying if our players had agreed to play PSL for 35 days in different parts of Pakistan, why couldn’t they play with the national team for a lesser duration. Most of our coaching staff is not willing to go. Our head coach said he will go for the T20Is. All the players want a short stay.”
Hassan also defended the players for entering the PSL draft, saying merely registering for it didn’t guarantee selection. “We can’t really draw a conclusion from what they have said,” Hassan reasoned. “They said that they won’t be selected in the draft just because they sent their names. Then they would need an NOC from the BCB, so they tried to say that they gave their names for the sake of it.”