‘No fear of Bangladesh cricket being isolated’
Recently a fear has emerged that Bangladesh may not feature high on the International Cricket Council's (ICC's) priorities in the post-pandemic world because of the powerful member countries' commercial interests as they inevitably try to recoup losses incurred during the halt in play.
Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB), were not entertaining the notion as they believe, under the new system of the World Test Championships and ODI League, it would not be possible to keep any country away from cricket too long.
The coronavirus pandemic has taken a toll on the international calendar, with Bangladesh missing out on eight Tests that were part of the ICC Test Championship, which was launched on August 1 last year.
The eight Tests include one away match against Pakistan in April, a two-match series against Australia in June, two Tests against New Zealand and with three against Sri Lanka.
"Unless the current ICC Test Championship cycle is extended there is no way we can play those eight Test matches in the stipulated time frame of the first cycle," BCB cricket operations chairman Akram Khan told Cricbuzz.
"We are looking forward to see what ICC does with the Test Championship because unless it is reshuffled, there is hardly any possibility to play the eight Test matches that got cancelled," he said.
BCB chief executive Nizamuddin Chowdhury however said that it is not an easy decision as there are a lot of 'ifs and buts' because of financial issues.
"It's not an easy decision and there are many options to think about before taking the final decision and ultimately the ICC member countries together will reach the decision," Chowdhury told The Daily Star.
"There is hardly any possibility of these eight matches to take place by next June [the date for the Test championship final as originally scheduled] and in that case, everybody should reach a consensus regarding the first cycle. See, if the Test Championship final date is extended it will have an impact on other schedules as well because we have a compact schedule until 2023, so you can understand it's not an easy decision," he said.
"But one thing is sure -- under the new system, which was developed to bring a balance among the member countries in terms of match distribution, there is no scope to deprive any country in the post-Covid-19 world until and unless you abolish the current system. In the previous system there were a lot of loopholes and that's why you saw that we were idle for long stretches sometimes but this new formula ensures all countries' engagement. Four home and four away series are guaranteed.
"Everybody is well aware that ICC reaches decisions through the consent of member countries. We are going to face a challenge in the post-Covid-19 era but this challenge is more or less the same for any member country," he explained.
"If this system exists, you cannot be isolated," he added.