NAZMUL HASSAN PAPON
The clearance from the Supreme Court to hold the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) elections under the 2012 amended constitution came as a huge relief for incumbent BCB president Nazmul Hassan Papon.
Soon after the verdict was delivered yesterday, the board called an official press conference at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur where a jubilant BCB boss said: “We had been going through a big crisis. The ad-hoc committee was formed to hold elections as soon as possible but we had problems with the constitution. The Appellate Division has given the verdict in the interest of the country. The International Cricket Council (ICC) has adopted this constitution, and the National Sports Council (NSC) has approved it. We can now hold elections under this constitution pending the full bench's approval. It is very good news, because the threat has been removed. We will hold elections as soon as possible and take all preparations from the June 29 board meeting.”
When asked about what would happen to the elected body in case the full bench reversed the decision after the elections were held, Papon said: “It is very unlikely to overturn the ruling by the five judges. Unless it has very strong logic to the contrary, the leave to appeal won't take place. As a layman, I feel that if the constitution doesn't go with ICC's edict, we won't be able to play cricket. The country won't benefit from a change in this verdict.”
The BCB boss was surrounded by some of his ad-hoc committee members including Mahbubul Anam, who believed that it would not be easy to dismiss the elected board in the future as the ICC will take action against such a move as FIFA is doing against their members.
Papon also blamed the previous elected body for the current mess. “The last committee didn't make changes according to ICC's directives, which the NSC had asked it to make. The court has asked BCB to make the changes, but that committee doesn't exist anymore. The previous directors didn't amend it for nine months. Who will take responsibility for making these changes?”
He also said that he was in no way a party to bringing the changes in the constitution.
“The major changes are the presidential election. In other boards, the executive body elects the president. Cricket players/organisers will get priority. The clubs went to the minister, complaining of a loss of balance. There are 71 votes from district councillors, 52 from Dhaka's. So now the Super League teams will get 2 votes each,” he responded when asked about the four major changes in the constitution.
Asked about the chances of him contesting the election, Papon said: “I will have my own panel, but I don't think I will contest in the directors' election. As a president, I want to remain neutral. I don't want to join a panel. If there's more than one panel, I will directly contest for the president's election. Anybody can be a president. I have to see whether I have to be a director or directly president [as per 2012 amended constitution one has to be a director to contest the president's post]. I haven't yet decided. You have to understand that I was appointed through a gazette notification. I have to know from them (the government) what they think.”