Grandies incline towards Saber
With exactly two weeks left for cricket authorities in Bangladesh and Pakistan to reach a consensus on which board will select the ICC (International Cricket Council) vice-president candidate for 2012, the nod of approval from some of the game's bigwigs in this country gave former BCB president Saber Hossain Chowdhury a slight advantage.
For the potential choice from Bangladesh, the names of the current Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) president AHM Mustafa Kamal and the former chief are being bandied about and while many among former national captains and distinguished organisers didn't directly name their favourites, some did and the consensus leaned towards the man who was instrumental in gaining the Test status.
It is understood from various sources that it will be Bangladesh who will be asked to take their pick since the first such decision between the two boards was taken by Pakistan in 2003 and, according to many, now is Bangladesh's turn if that was a gentleman's agreement.
Regardless of the agreement, it is quite clearly going to be the biggest organisational and diplomatic achievement for Bangladesh in the sports arena.
Former captain Shafiqul Haque said that his choice would definitely be Saber.
"My personal choice would be Saber. I have worked with him and have seen that he has tremendous vision. Everybody knows what he has done to get the Test status. He's a high profile individual and has garnered respect in the highest places," he said.
Former BCB vice-president Raisuddin Ahmed, who deemed it necessary that the country's interest is taken care of whoever the man is in the hot seat, didn't name Saber but it was quite apparent when he described the sort of person required in such an esteemed position.
"The post has to be utilised to our advantage whenever possible. It will help us build image, something that doesn't come from other sports. The issue of India not hosting us could be solved if there's proper representation. The FTP is an issue, we should get more Tests and tours. The man who will be our candidate has to put up the right argument.
"I will not name anyone but it is obvious that it has to be someone who has served internationally for quite some time. He has to have flair and exuberance so that he can uphold Bangladesh's prestige in the international community," said Raisuddin.
Syed Ashraful Huq, the former BCB general secretary and currently the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) CEO, has put the potential candidacy at a different level, though, like most others contacted by The Daily Star Sport, stopped short of putting up his favourite.
"This is the biggest thing anybody can think of. We neither do well on the field, nor do we have a substantial commercial value so it is a huge honour. I feel great about it," said Ashraful. "I think anybody can be a candidate but from my position as the ACC CEO, it wouldn't be right for me to comment."
KZ Islam, also a former BCB president and the father of school cricket in the country, said that while both Saber and Kamal are men of cricket his choice would be the serving BCB chief. "It has to be Kamal. He has been with cricket for a long time. We went to Nairobi together many years ago and I know him since then," he said.
Former national captain Roquibul Hassan said that he was delighted with the opportunity coming Bangladesh's way. "Naturally I am excited and very happy. Somebody will be in charge and he will have to deliver internationally," he said, though didn't want to name anyone in particular as his choice.
But Tanvir Mazhar Tanna, the former BCB general secretary, had an altogether different take on the matter. He understood that the position wouldn't make that of a difference to the country's sport since it is the cricket team's performance that is important.
"It has nothing to do with Bangladesh cricket as it is a position in world cricket. Of course if the person in charge is a good lobbyist, he can get us more Test matches but otherwise, it doesn't matter at all.
"I can't comment on this since I brought both of them [Saber and Kamal] to Abahani club so it wouldn't be fair. I'm sure there is a good candidate but there's not much to do.
"The ICC is a heavy board where Australia, England and India are very strong. Bangladesh can't make any headway. It all depends on the team, if they can't do well, there's nothing much to do elsewhere," said Tanvir.