Biman will leave a 'vacuum' | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, January 22, 2012 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, January 22, 2012

Biman will leave a 'vacuum'

The cricket and table tennis fraternities have regretted the decision of Bangladesh Biman authorities to halt their teams in the two disciplines.
The board of the national carrier took the decision after an investigation revealed wrongdoings regarding free tickets issued to players. Biman managing director air commodore (retd) Zakiul Islam told The Daily Star last week that the airline could not "afford to bear the expenses". Although the Biman MD attributed cash crisis for the closure of the two sporting units, on January 3 the board adopted the resolution after it was revealed that 239 tickets were issued to the players free of charge, flaunting its rules.
Despite the issue being internal, the ripple effect has been significant on the two sports. Table tennis and cricket have had a long association with Biman dating back to over three decades, with players being benefited immensely.
If the decision stands, domestic cricket will lose a stable Premier League team which will not only harm the players but also create a vacuum at the top.
"If they don't continue, their will be no existence for Biman," said Cricket Committee of Dhaka Metropolis (CCDM) chairman GS Hasan Tamim. "In that case, nobody will be able to play as Biman since they have come into cricket as an organisation."
What Tamim means here is that even if the "club" is bought by a second party, it has to continue under the name Biman for two seasons, a situation that can't be worked out as it is a separate entity altogether.
"If they don't participate, there will be a vacuum in the Premier League," he added, not ruling out the possibility of an 11-team competition next season.
Former chief selector Rafiqul Alam pointed out that Biman's absence will be felt in various ways in the game.
"It will be harmful for the Premier League overall. They always made a competitive, strong team in the competition and it is a fact that it is one of the safest places for players to get their contract money," said the former national cricketer.
"When I played, I saw a cricketing atmosphere there which was cordial and harmonious for any cricket team. Players have found it a friendly team with no added pressure," he added.
The country's table tennis legend Zobera Rahman Linu has termed it a sad state of affairs.
"It is very sad to hear of such news. There aren't many teams in table tennis and to have a team like Biman go away will be detrimental to the overall economy of the sport," she said.
"Teams like Bangladesh Ansar and Biman have supported players with not just pocket money but job security. I think the whole process, whatever it is, has to be given a second thought. It must be solved," said the country's only female sports personality to have her name listed in the Guiness Book of World Records for her record 16 national titles.
"Maybe some of the players will leave the sport for good," said Linu.
Despite the trouble facing domestic cricket and table tennis, some quarters have observed that the example made out of the two sporting units could serve well for the national carrier since it has been mired with corruption for the past several years.

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