Dhaka, Apr 19: Bangladesh cricket team's planned Pakistan tour later this month was today suspended by the High Court here for four weeks due to security reasons.
“Suspend the tour for four weeks,” said an order issued by a two-member bench responding to a petition challenging the cricket board's decision to send the national team to Pakistan, where it was set to take part in two matches.
Bangladesh team was set to play a one-dayer on April 29 and a Twenty20 international the next day at Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore in the first full international matches in Pakistan since March 2009, when Sri Lankan cricketers and officials were attacked by gunmen in Lahore.
The High Court bench comprising judges Farid Ahmed and Sheikh Hassan Arif questioned the legality of decision to send Bangladesh cricketers on a short trip despite the security risks and ordered the Sports Ministry Secretary and chiefs of National Sports Council chief and Bangladesh Cricket Board to justify the decision in the meantime.
A Supreme Court lawyer and a private university professor challenged the decision citing security concerns as Pakistan Cricket Board was yet to provide a “security plan” for the Bangladesh team's tour as demanded by International Cricket Council (ICC).
“Pakistan is not safe for any foreign teams now. Their own media including their English daily Dawn says so. For that reason, no country agrees to play there. Under the same circumstances, we should not go there also,” the petition read.