BCB concerned about the new proposal but stays put

Published: January 24, 2014

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The Bangladesh Cricket Board has refused to take a firm position against a plan to revamp the International Cricket Council even though it would deprive the Tigers of Test cricket for at least the next four years.

The BCB reviewed the plan – put forward by the so-called ‘Big Three’ of India, Australia and England – in a marathon board meeting on Thursday before coming to a conclusion that there was no rush to write it off completely.

In an urgent meeting in Chennai on the same day, India unanimously approved the plan, which, if approved, would keep Bangladesh’s international commitments limited to limited-overs cricket until 2019 at the earliest.

Clause three in section four of the draft proposal, which will be discussed at the ICC executive board meeting in Dubai on January 28-29, states that from 2015 the number nine and ten Test playing countries will play in the ICC Intercontinental Cup, a tournament to be held every four years.

The winners of the Intercontinental Cup will then be able to challenge the 8th-ranked team in a four-Test home and away series and then go on to play against the seven remaining Test teams if they are victorious.

‘We had a presentation in our meeting about the proposal,’ BCB president Nazmul Hasan told reporters after the meeting. ‘Overall it comes very complicated to us. There is no answer to many questions. We need to ask these questions and get the answer.

‘We decided whatever our opinion is, we will not disclose it. We need to know the opinion of other countries.’

South Africa have already publicly opposed the proposal, while Pakistan and Sri Lanka also voiced their concern, but Nazmul said it would be difficult to guess who is actually in favour of it and who is against it as the discussions in meetings are often very different to what is said in public.

The BCB president also revealed that the proposal was slightly discussed in the last ICC meeting, where, apart from Pakistan, no other countries raised any objections.

‘We saw in media South Africa opposed it,’ said Nazmul. ‘Sri Lanka sports minister also spoke against it. But we don’t know the position of their board. When this proposal was forwarded in the last meeting, apart from Pakistan no one raised any objection.’

‘So it is not important who said what outside. Rather what they said in the meeting that is very important. I will go to the ICC meeting in advance on the 25th. We need to speak to the people who made it. We will finalize our position only there,’ he said.

In a stunning revelation, the BCB president refused to take any offence to the idea of asking Bangladesh to play in the Intercontinental Cup and prove their worth as a Test-playing country.

Much to the surprise of media present in the conference room of the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium, the BCB president said that if the current trend persists, he does not see Bangladesh improving their Test ranking to the 8th position in the coming 10 years.

‘Our Test status will be retained. We will remain the 10th Test playing country, whatever happens it will not be changed,’ he said about the revamp plan.

‘Our Test rating point is 17. If we want to go to 8th place I don’t see any change in next 10 years.’

‘One good thing is that we are playing well for the last one and half years. We played well against Sri Lanka and New Zealand. Still I don’t see any progress in our ranking,’ he said.

‘We don’t find any way to come out from this ranking system. Now if we can win against them [the associate countries] and beat the number eight team, we will become number eight country. This is what we are told.

‘Still there are many questions, many things to think about. When it came first, we did not see any rationale to accept it. If we get the answer maybe our opinion can be changed,’ he said.

Nazmul insisted that the BCB needed to be careful about taking any position, as it could always boomerang back on to them.

‘Now if we oppose the plan and it get passed, we will be under pressure,’ said Nazmul, ‘If it all depends on us in the voting I cannot say now what we will do there,’ said the BCB president, adding that that chance is unlikely.
‘I don’t see any change of voting. It will either be accepted or dropped [without any voting].’

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