Departure of a cricket pioneer | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, May 04, 2021 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:29 AM, May 04, 2021

Departure of a cricket pioneer

Former Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) president Kamal Ziaul Islam, better known as KZ Islam, passed away at his residence in Dhaka yesterday afternoon. He was 86.

Islam left behind his wife, four sons, their wives, children and a host of well-wishers to mourn his death.

His namaz-e-janaza was held at the Azad Mosque in Gulshan in the evening and he was later buried at the Banani Graveyard.

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Islam pioneered Nirman School Cricket, a popular school tournament of the country in the 1980s and 1990s. One of the most important components behind the rise of cricket in Bangladesh in the pre-Test era was the Nirman School Cricket Championships, popularly known as 'Nirman Cricket'.

It all started in the early 1980s and gradually became a household name for more than a decade over which Nirman Cricket produced future stars such as Javed Omar Belim, Khaled Mahmud and Mehrab Hossain.

In the late '90s when the number of participating schools rose to over 400 as Nirman Cricket emerged as the first step for cricketers chasing the dream of one day representing the national team.

Islam served as the BCB president from January 30, 1983 to February 18, 1987.

The BCB expressed deep bereavement at the passing away of its former president.

BCB's current president Nazmul Hassan paid his tribute to K Z Islam, saying: "He was a pioneer and Bangladesh cricket will forever be grateful to him for his vision and belief. He patronised and encouraged age group cricket with the Nirman School tournament during a period when the game was far from being a professional sport. Because of resourceful personalities like him so many budding players could dream of becoming cricketers and cricket reached every corner of the country. On behalf of the board, I extend deepest condolences and sympathies to the family of K Z Islam."

As mark of respect to the late K Z Islam, the BCB flag will fly at half-mast today.

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