Pakistani cricketers attend a training session ahead of their first Test against Bangladesh. Associated Press
The Bangladesh cricket squad has returned to Pakistan for the second leg of the bilateral series, which includes its first Test match in the country since 2003.
Bangladesh were originally scheduled to play three Twenty20 Internationals and two Test matches, but agreed to split the tour into three phases because they did not want to stay in Pakistan for a longer duration because of security concerns.
Pakistan won the T20 series 2-0 last month at Lahore, with the third game abandoned because of rain.
Bangladesh lost 3-0 to Pakistan in their last Test series here in 2003, which included the home team’s nail-biting one-wicket victory at Multan.
Leading Bangladesh player Mushfiqur Rahim, who didn’t travel to Pakistan for last month’s Twenty20 series, has also opted out of the Test match at Rawalpindi.
A three-member security delegation from Bangladesh, led by retired Major Hussain Imam, met with security officials from the Pakistan government and the Pakistan Cricket Board at the Pindi Cricket Stadium on Tuesday.
The first Test, which is part of the World Test Championship, starts on Friday. Bangladesh will depart next Wednesday and return to Pakistan in April for one one-day international and the second test match at Karachi. Bangladesh is the second Test country to tour Pakistan since the resumption of international cricket here.
In December, Sri Lanka toured Pakistan for 16 days and played test matches at Rawalpindi and Karachi. It was the first Test series in Pakistan in more than a decade after a terrorist attack on the Sri Lanka cricket team bus at Lahore left eight people killed and injured several players.
Bangladesh lost all five of their Test matches in 2019, with their last two defeats coming by an innings margin against India in November.
Meanwhile, coach Russell Domingo said he was happy with the form shown by some of the Bangladesh batsmen in domestic competition this season, but acknowledged conditions would be different away from home.
Tamim Iqbal scored an unbeaten 334 runs on Sunday — the highest first-class innings ever on Bangladesh soil — in a local league game.
Skipper Mominul Haque and senior batsmen Mahmudullah Riyad and Liton Das have also scored recent centuries.
“The wickets that they are playing here don’t have much pace and bounce,” Domingo said.
“I am sure Rawalpindi might have some pace and bounce... it is going to be a big challenge for the boys.
The South African said he had demanded more commitment from his batsmen -- especially away from home.
“Some of the boys know that they have to put in some big performances on the back of a poor Test series against India,” he said.
“We have to show a bit more commitment with the bat, and find ways to manufacture scores even when the conditions are not good.”