• Tuesday, September 16, 2014

'BCB decision a death warrant'

Former Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) president Saber Hossain Chowdhury, in a letter to current BCB boss Nazmul Hassan Papon, entreated the governing body to reverse its decision of backing the draft proposal put forward by the Indian, English and Australian cricket boards. We have printed the letter in its entirety.

Dear Mr. President:
As a former president of Bangladesh Cricket Board and presently a member of Bangladesh Cricket Board's general council and last but not least as a fellow Parliamentarian, I am aghast and deeply disappointed at the apparent decision of BCB board of directors to endorse a plan/proposal of three Full Members of ICC.
This decision is tantamount to signing the death warrant for Bangladesh cricket.
We have worked hard and persevered for decades to achieve Test Status and Full Membership of the ICC and we historically did so on 26th June 2000. This was a crowning moment for not just Bangladesh cricket but for the entire nation and people of Bangladesh. Bangladesh Cricket Board was honoured and recognised with the country's highest national award -- Independence Day Award -- for this outstanding achievement.
All of the functions and activities of the BCB are geared towards participating and competing at the highest level of world cricket and is essentially the raison d'etre for the Board's existence.
I read your comments about ego and reality but do not feel these can ever take precedence and priority over national interest and principles. There is more to life and responsibility than meekly surrendering and being subservient to powers that be.
We had the courage and self belief to seek and achieve Test Status but now sadly lack the conviction and leadership to defend it.  Mere short-term financial benefit cannot surely be at the expense of the very survival of cricket but this evidently is precisely what the board of directors have voted for.
We now stand to lose all that we have so proudly achieved and this is simply not acceptable. I am sorry and sad to say that that the decision of the BCB board of directors is not in the interest of Bangladesh cricket and is also in conflict with our national interest. As the custodian of Bangladesh cricket, BCB cannot preside over its demise and be its de facto executioner.
Whilst I applaud the courage and the wisdom of a few directors to vote against the proposal, I question too the rationale to put the matter to vote. Surely by so doing and having the endorsement of the Board to support the plan, you have in effect tied your hands and now have no moral or institutional standing to oppose it during the upcoming ICC Board Meeting.
I question too the jurisdiction of the board of directors to decide on an issue of such momentous implications.
If in your shoes, I would have referred the matter to an emergency meeting of the BCB general council, which as per the constitution imposed by the NSC, is the apex organisational tier of the BCB and I would also have discussed the matter with NSC and sought the government's views on the matter. Such a consultative process and approach would only have strengthened your hand and given you more options for the upcoming meeting.      
Plan of the three full members to re-structure world cricket, concentrate power in the few and create second-class cricket citizens with regard to Bangladesh and Zimbabwe is repugnant to the letter and spirit of ICC's constitution and the vision of growing the game globally. We must have the courage to oppose it and stand up and be counted. If you need my support or that of former presidents, I am sure we will only be too pleased to help as best we can and stand firmly by your side and try to rally the other six full members of the ICC as well.
I would urge you to review and reverse the decision of the board of directors and to oppose in the strongest possible terms the plan of the three full members. You will be failing in your responsibility as President if you fail to correct this. BCB will also have failed in its duties as the custodian and representative of our cricket.

Regards.
Saber Chowdhury

Published: 12:00 am Saturday, January 25, 2014

Last modified: 9:55 pm Saturday, January 25, 2014

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