BCB Confident of Hosting WT20 - The New Indian Express

BCB Confident of Hosting WT20

Published: 14th December 2013 02:14 AM

Last Updated: 14th December 2013 03:02 PM

The political unrest in Bangladesh is showing no signs of subsiding. Violence escalated on Friday after the execution of a prisoner. Reports claimed elections due on January 5 have become uncertain and this means clouds of uncertainty over the T20 World Cup to be held next year.

Firecrackers light up the sky during a 100 days countdown event to the ICC T20 World Cup in Dhaka | AP
The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB), however, is putting up a brave front, saying the event will take place as scheduled, from March 16 to April 4. The International Cricket Council (ICC) too is monitoring the situation closely and shifting the event out of Bangladesh hasn’t been discussed yet.

Talking to TNIE on Friday, the CEO of BCB, Nizam Uddin Chowdhury said they are confident normalcy will return soon. “If one looks at the trend, such political turmoils don’t continue for very long. We are hoping the situation will become normal after the elections and that the T20 World Cup will be held without any problem,” he said. The West Indies U-19 team recently aborted a trip of Bangladesh after an explosion near their hotel, but Chowdhury refused to read too much into the incident. He cited the example of the New Zealand senior team completing a full tour in October-November without any hassle.

“Bilateral series and the World T20 are events of different magnitude. The number of teams involved makes the T20 a much bigger event. We are taking all possible measures to ensure that it takes place properly,” said Chowdhury.

A police riot control vehicle moves past burning cars set on fire by activists of Islamist party, Jamaat-e-Islami in Dhaka | AP
The ICC, which is “actively monitoring the situation and continues to work closely with the BCB”, is unlikely to take a decision in the immediate future. Decisions like shifting an event to another country can only be made by the ICC Executive Board and its next meeting is scheduled in Dubai from January 25-29. Before that, unless there is an emergency, the ICC doesn’t plan any action.

BCB media manager Rabeed Imam informed political unrest in Bangladesh usually doesn’t affect sports, particularly cricket. “There is no precedent of any sporting event getting cancelled. During the New Zealand series, the conflicting parties were requested not to target cricket and they didn’t. Even this time, we are expecting them to cooperate,” he said.

Imam claimed the BCB president Nazmul Hassan’s remarks after the West Indies U-19 team called off the tour — which sounded apprehensive — were “distorted”. “We have three very important cricketing events coming up in Bangladesh. The tour of Sri Lanka starts towards the end of January, the Asia Cup is in February-March and the ICC World Twenty20 begins in March. I do not foresee any alarms in hosting these competitions as I am very confident that we will soon see the end of this phase of tension,” read a statement from the BCB president, forwarded by Imam.

Bangladeshi cricket fans wait outside a bank to buy tickets for the ICC WT20 in Dhaka | File/AP
Earlier this year, amid concerns over infrastructure in one of the four venues in Bangladesh, the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) had said it was ready to host matches if required. The CAB president Jagmohan Dalmiya said on Friday their stands remains same, although they have not been approached.

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