The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has sought formal permission from the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) to hoist the Pakistani flag during practice sessions in Dhaka, it emerged on Wednesday.
According to a report, the BCB will inform the Pakistan cricket authorities about its decision today. Till now, the Bangladesh board had not expressed any displeasure over the practice nor staged any protest.
When asked, a PCB spokesperson noted that the flags of both countries are usually displayed on the ground during bilateral series, so if coaches decide to also hoist their flag during a practice session, there should be no objection to the practice.
However, formal permission has nevertheless been sought after the matter was widely discussed on Bangladeshi social media, where netizens objected to the practice.
Critics, citing historical tensions between Pakistan and Bangladesh, say that hoisting the flag during practice conveys a “political message”.
In case the BCB denies them permission, the Pakistani cricket authorities will review the decision and convey the same to the team management.
Interim coach Saqlain Mushtaq had started the practice during the New Zealand series in September, and it carried over to the T20 World Cup in Dubai. India, the host of the T20 World Cup, had not raised 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 department of the Bangladesh Cricket Board has said that it will not comment on the matter.
Pakistani cricketers had arrived in Dhaka on November 13 to play three T20 matches and two Test matches.
They have been holding net practice sessions for the last three days.—Agencies