Pak cricket team decision to hoist flag at practice session in Bangladesh sparks major controversy

Pakistan cricket team’s decision to hoist its national flag in the Mirpur ground in Dhaka during a practice session on Tuesday has created a huge controversy ahead of the three-match T20 series.

Many Bangladeshi fans took the move as a political message during the year of golden jubilee celebrations of the nation’s independence.

Bangladesh State Minister for Information and Broadcasting Dr Murad Hasan has demanded that the Pakistan team should be sent back with the flag.

“Pakistan cricketers hoist their national flag during practice. This is not acceptable under any circumstances. I can’t support it in any way,” he told reporters in Chittagong on Tuesday.

The Minister said, “Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s daughter and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has taken Bangladesh cricket to a new high through various initiatives. Pakistan team’s hoisting national flag in Dhaka is a great blow to our national spirit at a time when Bangladesh is celebrating golden jubilee of its independence from Pakistan and Mujib Borsho marking birth centenary of Bangabandhu”.

Soon after the controversy came to light, the Pakistan Cricket Board said they have adopted the decision of putting up the national flag during practice sessions for the past two months.

“(Pakistan) coach Saqlain Mushtaq launched the practice to boost the team’ morale,” visiting team manager Ibrahim Badizi said.

The Pakistan cricket team arrived in Dhaka on Monday for the three T20 Internationals which begin in Dhaka on November 19.

Key civil society body Ghatak Dalal Nirmul Committee termed this move of Pakistan cricket team a disrespect to the sovereignty of Bangladesh.

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