Dhaka. Following their team’s loss in the recently concluded Asia Cup final, the Bangladesh Cricket Board has written a letter to the ICC demanding reservation in the upcoming main draw of the World T20. BCB is maintaining that the reservation has nothing to do with caste but is based on Bangladesh’s financial standings in the world.
Our reporter spoke to the former Bangladesh cricketer Athar Ali Khan. He said, “I agree with the board. We look at the Bangladesh cricket team and we see so much talent there but due to the lack of proper training and facilities, they haven’t been able to tap their full potential. Apart from cricket, they also have to look after their shops, some don’t even have shops, they sell vegetables on pushcarts while the others migrate to India to work as labourers in West Bengal. So cricket is not all they have. Look at our captain, he travels to the match venue in a rickshaw. Half of his energy is wasted in reaching to the stadium, how can we expect the poor fellow to perform consistently”.
He further added, “Who knows if they had the board taking care of all the logistics for them and if cricket was their sole focus and if they had all the modern facilities, the Tamims and Sabbirs would have been bigger names than the Virats and De Villiers and the Al-Amins and Mustafizurs bigger than the Steyns and Starcs of the world cricket.”
The reporter asked about about Shakib. To which Athar replied, “Ohh, despite all odds, he already is the greatest all-rounder we have today.”
We also spoke to Bangladesh cricket fans, one of whom was super excited at the news of the reservation and looked already convinced that his team would bring the cup this time. He said, “These teams with rich boards always dominate the weaker teams. Pehle qualifier phir mains ke naam pe hume do-do tournament khela dete hain and they have it relatively easy. Then when our teams do well and get on top of them, they bloody bribe the umpires. Wo kyun nahi qualifiers khelte hain? Now, we will have equality.”
ICC’s spokesperson Laurance Blairon confirmed the news to us on call. He said BCB has demanded that Bangladesh should play only one match in the super-10 rounds and that their opponents be Pakistan– a team similar in stature (both financial and in cricket rankings) to them. The winner to go straight to the finals. That is not all. If they face one of India/Australia/South Africa or New Zealand in the finals, they get to bat for the regular 20 overs but their opponents should get only 5 overs of batting.
Now whether the ICC acquiesces to BCB’s demands remains to be seen, but it has certainly added to the drama surrounding the Bangladesh cricket and its fans.