Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) president Nazmul Hassan Papon painted a bright picture for the future of Bangladesh cricket yesterday while talking with the media regarding his stance in the much talked about just-concluded ICC meeting in Dubai. He also responded to questions about the BCB directors' vote that reportedly supported the controversial draft proposal by 20-3 votes.
The BCB boss, who returned yesterday after attending the meeting, expressed his disappointment over media reports after the board meeting on January 23 but later in an official statement thanked the local media for their 'outstanding support given to the BCB and Bangladesh cricket'.
When asked about Bangladesh's position, Papon, receiving assistance from director Mahbubul Anam who sat beside him on the dais, said: “We will be in a better position than others. We will go to India to play Tests, they will come here. We will go to England. Australia will come here.”
“FTP [Future Tours Programme] didn't have a legal basis. Now, there will be the Members Participation Agreement (MPA), which is bound by law, despite what anyone says or does now. FTP is still in existence. We haven't signed anything yet but we hope to do so in the February 8 meeting,” he continued.
When asked whether Bangladesh will have 30 Tests till 2020 as per the existing FTP, Papon said: “Whatever we have, it will only increase. There's no chance of it decreasing. The teams which don't play regularly against us, they will all give priority to Bangladesh. I can assure you that. Within two years, we hope to play against everyone.”
Papon also informed that they were not in any alliance and there were no threats from India as reported in some newspapers; the principles were unanimously backed by all ten members. He also expressed his gratitude towards the Indian cricket authorities for their support for Bangladesh hosting the Asia Cup and the ICC World Twenty20.
The BCB president said media reports regarding his directors' position hampered his campaign and that the alleged 20-3 vote had led to three countries cancelling their appointments for discussion with the BCB. He went on to say that the vote put forward was to discuss the BCB's course if seven countries had already voted in support of the proposition in the ICC meeting, which would mean that the proposal would be passed regardless of Bangladesh's say. According to Papon, only three had recommended opposition to the proposal in that scenario.
Mahbubul Anam advised the media to give importance to what was written to the ICC by the BCB, which according to him was the outcome of the meeting.
Ahmed Sajjadul Alam, who reportedly voted against the proposition along with Tanzil Chowdhury and Showkat Aziz Russel during the board meeting, cleared his position again.
“This letter to the ICC was not raised at the meeting. All those present in the meeting know very well what was being raised, discussed and voted upon. But I am happy that they have realised what we wanted to say and I stand by my action that day,” said the veteran organiser before adding: “My stand has been vindicated.”