International cricket teams have started to tour Pakistan. Some time ago, it was the Sri Lankan side that became the first team since 2009 to complete a full tour of the insurgency-afflicted nation. Now, it's another Asian nation – Bangladesh – who are visiting Pakistan for a cricket tour. The team is not at full strength due to some of the top players opting out due to security fears.
Pakistan, on the other hand, is leaving nothing to chance as far as the security of the visitors is concerned. How high the level of security provided to Bangladesh is came to light when a video showing the Bangladesh team bus and the security caravan with it got uploaded on to YouTube.
This video, taken from the window or balcony of a house on a very high floor of a building reveals how intense the security arrangements are. The convoy accompanying the team bus stretches a long way and contains armored vehicles laden with security personnel and other vehicles providing a thick layer of security.
The video shows the convoy making a u-turn and then a left turn on its way to the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore. What is even more amazing is the fact that more security vehicles come from the other side of the road as the team bus turns left to further ensure its safety.
The reason behind this massive security arrangement is the continuing hesitance among most teams in the world to tour the country. In 2009, the Sri Lankan Test team bus suffered an attack by terrorists which led to several players suffering mild injuries while Thilan Samaraweera sustained a shrapnel wound.
After that, international cricket in Pakistan came to a stop. For several years, no international side went to the country. The ice was broken in 2015 when Zimbabwe made a short tour of the country. Then, in 2018, a World XI side also toured Pakistan and played a few matches.
But the big breakthrough came last year with the Sri Lankan team, albeit a much-depleted side, made a full tour containing series in all three formats. With Bangladesh also visiting the country despite the security fears of several of their top players, things are looking slightly better for the beleaguered cricket-loving nation but it will take many years for any non-Asian team to tour the country.
The excessive security arrangements show how worried the Paksitan Cricket Board (PCB) and the government of the country in general are about another possible attack on a visiting team. Hopefully, such arrangements will ensure that teams remain safe.