Bangladesh Cricket Board's development committee chairman MA Latif (2nd from L) makes a point during a press briefing in connection with the National Schools Cricket Championship 2008 at a city hotel yesterday. Also present at the briefing was sponsors Standard Chartered Bank's head of corporate affairs Shah Masud Imam (2nd from R).Photo: STAR
The Standard Chartered Young Tigers National School Cricket Tournament (Under-16) gets underway at the Dhanmondi Cricket Stadium on February 9 with BKSP taking on West End High School in the opening match.
The Game Development Committee of the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) has trimmed down the number of participating teams and venues to give the tournament a proper shape in order to find out future cricketers.
A total of 460 schools, which is almost half of last year, from the country's all sixty-four districts will take part in this year's tournament.
"We reduced the number of the participating teams and concentrated on a divisional-based tournament rather than last year's district-based competition because we want to give it a proper shape. We are also looking forward to appointing a coach for each district teams," said Ishtiaque Ahmed, vice-chairman of the BCB body, at a press conference yesterday.
On conclusion of 969 matches in 70 venues there would be six divisional champions along with Dhaka metro.
As per earlier commitment, sponsors Standard Chartered Bank will provide Tk 60 lakh in the last year of their three-year contract with the BCB.
"Our bank always wants to contribute something in development of the game and that is the reason we have associated ourselves with school cricket," said Shah Masud Imam, head of corporate affairs of Standard Chartered Bank.
He also informed the reporters in reply to a question that they failed to fulfil their commitment about providing scholarships for top ten performers from the last year tournament as they didn't get any indication regarding the matter from BCB.
"We were ready to do that but we didn't get any indication from BCB," Imam said.
Ishtiaque however defended the board's position by saying that it was almost impossible for them to find out ten top players from such a massive competition and that was the reason they decided to resize it in this year.
Game development chairman lt. col. (retd) MA Latif Khan told the reporters that they would start the work for the long-pending permanent National Cricket Academy infrastructure at Mirpur by first week of March.
"We will get the confirmation about the leasing of Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium only today and hopefully we can start the work by first week of March," said Latif.
Latif however had earlier promised to start the work in September last year soon after being appointed as the game development chairman on the ad-hoc committee.