With the new year bringing new hopes, the perennial issue of widespread corruption in lower-level cricket was put to Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) president Nazmul Hassan, who assured that the board is going to look into the matter seriously.
While Bangladesh cricket had a relatively successful 2018 on the international front, in domestic cricket the corruption, biased umpiring, match-fixing and even buying and selling points in lower-level cricket all became major concerns.
“First of all, the BPL [Bangladesh Premier League] was a mess when we first came and we tried to clean that and did to some extent. There was a lot of talk about the [Dhaka] Premier League as well but there were no controversies in the previous season. Now we have to go down into the first, second and third divisions as well as the district levels. It will take some time to fix everything as we have to give special focus on umpiring. If we are able to fix the umpiring then everything will be fine," Nazmul told the reporters at his corporate office yesterday.
With no one really focusing on lower-level cricket till date, this state of affairs has been an ongoing issue for the past few years, leaving grassroots cricket silently crying out for help.
“In terms of clubs, actually everything is club-oriented so it's natural that they will have a strong place. If the board makes sure that the umpiring is good and if we are able to be strict or if they get the assurance from me then I hope everything will be fine. Apart from that there are a few other complaints which are tough to fix. It's improving and it will also happen in lower levels. If I stay with cricket for another three years then I will not give an inch to anything. I will keep after it till its end,” he added.
“Corruption is there in many places and it won't be cleaned in a day. We have to fix this right from the top but not from the bottom. I am trying to work accordingly and umpiring issue is just like that. If it is out and the umpire does not give it out then it's not right. I want fair umpiring and that is my first message from now on.”