12:00 AM, October 24, 2012 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, October 24, 2012

NSC saves BCB blushes

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Al Amin

If you omit the desire of the National Sports Council (NSC) to have more representatives (from the Ministry of Youth and Sports) in the just approved BCB constitution, then the regulatory authority of the country's sports deserves kudos from cricket lovers of the country for keeping some vital components in the board's constitution intact.
The NSC, in its recommendation on the amended constitution that the collective brains of BCB unanimously passed in March this year, made some very interesting observations and asked the board to adopt those in the constitution 'before sending it back to the NSC'.
The NSC quite understandably rejected the BCB decision to offload cricketers as councillors, a move greeted by jeers from the country's cricket community.
The argument behind discarding former cricketers as councillors was that the 'cricketer' tag cannot be the sole criterion to be a member of the general council, which has been the exclusive domain for organisers of Dhaka-based clubs, divisional and district organisations.
But in the 2004 BCB constitution the councillorship of players was put in the third category which can be best described as a distant 'third world' with the provision of electing only one director from that category. That left the Dhaka Metropolitan clubs (which fall in the second category and can elect 12 directors from midst) and Divisional and District Sports Associations (which fall in the first category and can elect 10 directors) to call all the shots because of their contribution and endless effort to the improvement of country's cricket (some may seriously argue about the contribution of divisional and district sports associations).
Former cricketers may not be considered in some other boards in the cricket world, but they were drafted into the BCB umbrella in an effort to ensure that the intellectual input for the betterment of the game comes from a wide section of the sports community.
The NSC also asked the BCB to reinstate CFO (chief finance officer) in the constitution. It was quite inexplicable why the board's constitution amendment committee recommended abolishing the vital post.
The NSC observation in this regard is very interesting.
"The post of CFO must be kept to maintain financial discipline," read an NSC comment.
The board pays a monthly salary, honorarium and other benefits of more than Tk 2 crore to its staff and deals with an annual budget of Tk 115 crore. Many board directors privately said that they were not against a CFO but did not 'want it in the constitution'. Quite an argument!
The NSC also overruled the board's desire to have a COO (chief operating officer) in lieu of CEO (chief executive office) with a harsh note that reads: "In the ICC and different cricket boards' constitutions there is a post called CEO. Besides, the change of the name does not bear any significant meaning. So, the post of CEO will remain."
Board directors and councillors termed the NSC interference in the BCB constitution 'unfortunate' while expressing their anguish over the last couple of days. But unfortunately it is the BCB that opened the door for the NSC to step in.
The BCB formed a constitution amendment committee with Dewan Shafiul Arefin as its convenor two years ago, particularly to insert a clause defining an 'elected' BCB president. And the committee in an effort to make 'minor' adjustments in the constitution actually had done a 'major surgery', sparking uproar.
Many believe the committee could have done a world of good if it had focused on decentralisation of our cricket, like creating cricket zones instead of existing divisions which have now increased from six to seven and will surely increase in the future based on political decisions. It would be far more conducive to the betterment of cricket if the sport was not bracketed under divisions. Instead there should be exclusive cricket zones like east, west, north, south, central, etc. under which will fall the district cricket associations and Dhaka-based clubs. Experts believe that this will pave the way for true decentralisation of Bangladesh cricket.
The absence of such a provision is perhaps the only weakness of the present constitution.
Today, the new BCB president Nazmul Hassan Papon will have his first board meeting and he will definitely discuss the constitution. Cricket lovers hope he will at least keep in mind that the board's constitution is not changed and mutilated like the constitution of our country.

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