New Delhi, Nov 17 (IANS) The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has sought formal permission from the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) to hoist the Pakistani flag during their practice sessions in Dhaka, Geo News reported.
Bangladesh are set to host Pakistan for three T20 Internationals and two Tests between November 19 and December 8. While the T20I series will be played in Dhaka, the teams will return to the Bangladesh capital for the second Test after playing the first in Chattogram.
The visiting team is holding practice sessions in Dhaka for the past three days, the report said.
According to a Daily Jang report, the BCB will inform the Pakistan cricket authorities about its decision on the matter later on Wednesday.
Till now, the Bangladesh cricket board has not expressed any displeasure over the practice sessions, nor staged any protest, the report said.
When asked, a PCB spokesperson said that the flags of both the countries are usually displayed on the ground during bilateral series, so if the coaches decide to hoist their flag during a practice session, there should be no objection to it.
However, formal permission has been sought after the matter was widely discussed on Bangladeshi social media, where netizens objected to the practice, the report said.
Critics, citing historical tensions between Pakistan and Bangladesh, said that hoisting the Pakistani flag during practice conveys a “political message”, the report said.
In case the BCB denies permission to PCB, the Pakistani cricket authorities will review the decision and convey the same to the team management.
Interim Pakistan coach Saqlain Mushtaq had started the practice of hoisting the national flag ahead of the New Zealand series in September, which continued in the just-concluded T20 World Cup in the Middle East. India, the official host of the World Cup, did not raise any objection.
Mushtaq had said during the T20 World Cup that the team represents the country and the flag’s presence is a symbolic reminder that “220 million people are with us”.
According to foreign media, the media cell of the BCB has said that it will not comment on the matter.