LAHORE - Bangladesh will tour Pakistan later this month, becoming the first top level international cricket team to play in the country since 2009, the International Cricket Council announced Sunday.

The ICC executive board, which is meeting in Dubai, was informed by the both countries’ cricket boards that the tour will take place and include a one-day international and one Twenty20 match to be held in Lahore. The ODI is scheduled for April 29 and the T20 match will be played a day later at the same venue.

No team has toured Pakistan since the terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team bus here in March 2009. Six Sri Lankan players got injured in the attack which killed as many security men and two civilians.

“I am pleased to confirm this tour today. I know how important it is for Pakistan Cricket Board for revival of cricket in their country,” Mostafa Kamal, President of the Bangladesh Cricket Board said in a statement released by the PCB. “The public of Pakistan have been deprived of cricket and we felt that we needed to support them. The reception we received when we toured Lahore and Karachi on our security visit was overwhelming,” he added.

Earlier, the International Cricket Council was informed that the Bangladesh and Pakistan cricket boards have agreed that the two countries will compete in a one-day international and Twenty20 in Lahore. The ICC board, having due regard to its duty of care to match officials and other ICC staff, requested that the PCB immediately provide a comprehensive security plan for consideration.

Thereafter, the ICC’s Anti Corruption and Security Unit will commission a localised risk assessment to determine whether its officials and staff are appropriately protected by the proposed security plan, before any further decision is taken in relation to their appointment. Last month, the ICC had introduced a “special dispensation” to be made only in “exceptional circumstances” in order to ensure that bilateral series take place even if the ruling body has determined it “unsafe” to appoint its officials for such series. This would allow such series to be manned by “non-neutral match officials”, a departure from the ICC’s Standard Playing Conditions, pending permission from its executive board.

Sunday’s announcement follows lengthy negotiations between the two boards over the terms of the tour, and the strings attached to it. At times it looked as though the tour would be a non-starter but on Sunday it was welcomed by both sides.

Under the ICC’s standard playing conditions for ODIs, one of the two on-field umpires and the match referee must be drawn from countries not taking part in a match. Meanwhile, Zaka Ashraf, the PCB chairman, said: “I want to thank the BCB and the Bangladesh Government for their support for this tour.” “Since last year we have been trying our best to convince international teams to tour Pakistan. This tour by Bangladesh should eventually help us convince other boards that it is safe to play in Pakistan,” Ashraf said. “The situation has gradually improved in Pakistan and we will provide the best security arrangements for the Bangladesh team with the cooperation of the government. The tour is of great importance to us.”

There had been several itineraries proposed for the tour, including a three-match ODI series and a series of two ODIs and one Twenty20 international. Karachi and Rawalpindi were the other possible venues but they were dropped on security grounds. Pakistan had been a ‘no go’ zone for international teams as they fear security of the players in a country where the national army is fighting militancy.

Both the countries had started to show signs of bitterness after Bangladesh showed reluctance over the tour and Pakistan threatened to review relations if the tour doesn’t take place. PCB further said the remaining matches of the FTP  tour will be played at dates mutually agreed between the two Boards at venues including Bangladesh.

Bangladesh was due for a full tour of Pakistan under the ICC FTP in 2012. The tour will come a little more than three years after masked terrorists attacked the Sri Lanka team bus and a van carrying ICC officials to Gaddafi Stadium. Since then, Pakistan have hosted “home series” in UAE and other neutral venues. The credit goes to Zaka, whose efforts to bring back international cricket to Pakistan bore fruit due to his sincerity with the game of cricket. The cricketing circle of the country congratulated him for fulfilling his promise of bringing international cricket to Pakistan.

Even before the 2009 attacks foreign teams had refused to tour Pakistan since the war on terror began in the wake of 9-11 attacks in 2001 in the United States. Australia have not toured Pakistan since 1998, forcing them to play in Sri Lanka and Sharjah (2002), 2009 (UAE) and England (2010). Pakistan had also played their home series in New Zealand in 2009.