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New Delhi, November 17 (IANS): The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has requested formal permission from the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) to hoist the Pakistani flag during their training sessions in Dhaka, Geo News reported.

Bangladesh is expected to host Pakistan for three T20 Internationals and two Tests between November 19 and December 8. While the T20I series will be played in Dhaka, the teams will return to the capital of Bangladesh for the second Test after playing the first in Chattogram.

The visiting team has been holding training sessions in Dhaka for three days, according to the report.

According to an article in the Daily Jang, the BCB will inform Pakistani cricket authorities of its decision on the matter later on Wednesday.

The Bangladesh Cricket Council has so far not expressed any dissatisfaction with the training sessions, nor organized any protests, according to the report.

When asked, a PCB spokesperson said the flags of the two countries are usually displayed on the ground during bilateral heats, so if coaches decide to hoist their flag during a training session, there should be no objection.

However, official permission was sought after the issue was widely debated on Bangladeshi social media, where netizens opposed the practice, according to the report.

Critics, citing historic tensions between Pakistan and Bangladesh, said hoisting the Pakistani flag during training sends a “political message,” according to the report.

If the BCB denies PCB authorization, Pakistan cricket authorities will review the decision and forward it to team management.

Pakistan’s interim coach Saqlain Mushtaq had started hoisting the national flag ahead of New Zealand’s series in September, which continued into the just-concluded T20 World Cup in the Middle East. India, official host of the World Cup, raised no objections.

Mushtaq had said during the T20 World Cup that the team represents the country and the presence of the flag is a symbolic reminder that “220 million people are with us”.

According to foreign media reports, the BCB media cell said it would not comment on the case.

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