The Babar Azam-led Pakistan cricket team is likely to travel to Bangladesh directly from the UAE after the ongoing ICC Men’s T20 World Cup final at the Dubai Sports City Stadium on November 14.
The Green Brigade are scheduled to play two Tests and three T20 matches in Bangladesh during the tour.
According to a report in ‘The News’, there are very slim chances of the Pakistani cricketers coming back home from the UAE as they have almost made to the knock-out stage of the showpiece event.
Pakistan have almost sealed a semi-finals’ berth with three wins from as many games abd will now face the minnows in their two of the remianing games.
The final of the ongoing World Cup final is scheduled to be played on November 14 which means that the Pakistan team will not be having enough time to get back home and then fly to Bangladesh.
“Pakistan are expected to fly straight from the UAE to Bangladesh for the series. There will not be enough time in between the two events that could allow the team members to get out of the bio-secure bubble,” a source in the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) told the publication.
“The decision to this effect, however, will be taken at that particular time. In all probability, the team will travel to Bangladesh for the series directly from the UAE,” the report further quoted the source as saying.
However, the source also added that the only possibility of getting back home would be if the Green Brigade wins the coveted trophy and then it could go back home to share the victory with the nation by making a stopover before heading to Bangladesh.
Till now, the PCB has still not announced the team for the Bangladesh tour but it has been learnt that the majority of the current team members, who are already in the UAE, are expected to be part of the touring squad while Test players like Yasir Shah, Mohammad Abbas, Abdullah Shafiq, and Saud Shakil would join them later.
“There will be minimal changes made to the team that is already in the UAE for the World Cup. There is not enough time in between the events to think in terms of any major changes. Besides the addition of a few Test specialists, the touring squad will almost be the same. Since the Test series starts from November 26, Test specialists could join the team at later stages. Almost the same T20 combination (15 team members and three reserves) are expected to travel to Bangladesh. At the same time, you cannot rule out the retirement of any veteran player at the end of the ongoing World Cup. Even in that case, Pakistan will be having enough backup currently with the touring squad,” added the source.
Last month, Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) CEO Nizamuddin Chowdhury had confirmed that Pakistan will tour Bangladesh just after the T20 World Cup.
“The Pakistan series will happen right after the [T20] World Cup. The cricket operations department is in talks with the Pakistan board to finalise the details. All formats will be included, there will be more ODIs and Tests,” Chowdhury had told mediapersons.
As per Chowdhury, the Pakistan cricket team will arrive in Dhaka on November 15 for the series.