Former Bangladesh captain Habibul Bashar has been named as one of eight stalwarts of the modern era as Champion Ambassadors for this summer’s ICC Champions Trophy which will be staged at three iconic venues of England and Wales from 1-18 June.
The eight Ambassadors between them have played 1,774 One-Day Internationals, scoring 51,906 runs with 48 centuries, and taking 838 wickets, said a press release from the International Cricket Council (ICC) today.
The other ambassasdors are: Shahid Afridi of Pakistan, Ian Bell of England, Shane Bond of New Zealand, Australia’s Mike Hussey, India’s Harbhajan Singh, Kumar Sangakkara of Sri Lanka and Graeme Smith of South Africa.
The announcement was made with exactly 50 days to go before the first ball is bowled in the tournament opener between England and Bangladesh at The Oval.
The Champion Ambassadors will be involved in the ICC Champions Trophy Nissan Trophy Tour and will also make appearances in the UK as part of an inspiring programme aimed at providing school children with an opportunity to meet and play with a legend at the Cricket For Good coaching clinics.
In addition to this, the eight cricketers will be part of a strong ICC editorial team and will provide match previews and match analysis through exclusive columns which will be available on the ICC website at www.icc-cricket.com for free download and editorial use, added the press release.
Bashar, who captained Bangladesh in the ICC Champions Trophy 2006, said: “It’s a matter of great pride for me to be appointed as one of the Ambassadors for this year’s ICC Champions Trophy. Not many things can give you more satisfaction than promoting an ICC event, that too one in which the top eight sides will be fighting for top honours. I eagerly await my role and also look forward to penning my thoughts, which I feel is a great opportunity for me.
“It’s more than a decade since Bangladesh played in this tournament and I’m really looking forward to the event because Bangladesh is now a side that can beat top teams on a regular basis. The nice blend of youth and experience makes it a very balanced side.
“The expectations from fans back home has been on the increase for some years now and I’m confident the side will justify the faith shown in its players. I feel this is really the time for Bangladesh to shine on the big stage, and nothing better than the ICC Champions Trophy to do it, what with the ICC Cricket World Cup only two years away!”