Frustrated BCB set to cut ties with Shaheed Chandu Stadium

Overlapping tournament schedules caused the tipping point
Frustrated BCB set to cut ties with Shaheed Chandu Stadium
Shaheed Chandu Stadium in Bogura. Photo: Collected

Vexed by non-cooperation from the district's local sports bodies and organisers for years, the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) is set to withdraw their association from the Shaheed Chandu Stadium in Bogura.

Nizam Uddin Chowdhury, BCB's chief executive officer, on Thursday had sent a formal letter to the National Sports Council and asked them to intervene and take responsibility for the BCB-owned goods at the stadium, which gained the recognition of an international cricket and a Test venue in 2006.  

"Due to the non-cooperation from the Bogura District Sports Association, it is not possible for the BCB to organise events there [at the Shaheed Chandu Stadium]. The BCB officials appointed at the stadium have already been relocated to other venues," wrote the BCB CEO in the aforementioned letter.

The stadium manager Jamilur Rahman informed The Daily Star today that the BCB-owned goods were already on way to Dhaka by trucks, and that as many as 17 employees and officials in charge of the Shaheed Chandu Stadium were asked on Wednesday to leave the stadium and report to Dhaka within March 4, 2023. Photo: Collected

The BCB CEO told The Daily Star: "This is the official decision of BCB. For the time being, our employees are being withdrawn from Bogura and brought to Dhaka."

According to sources, the tipping point in the conflict had reached when the Bogura District Sports Association (DSA) allowed the Bogura Premier Division Cricket League to commence at this stadium from March 1 despite the BCB Youth Cricket League had already been slated to be held at the same venue from March 8.

A BCB source recalled that even two-three years prior to this incident, the Bogura DSA refused to host a national event like the Youth Cricket League. Back then the players arrived from Dhaka to practice but later the relevant authority did not allow the players to take the field.

"I don't see any reason to be upset with the District Sports Association. If there is any reason, it should be mentioned. The NCL [National Cricket League] ground has been under BCB for a long time. What can we say if they choose to leave the field?" Masudur Rahman Milon, the Bogura DSA general secretary, told The Daily Star today.

"Such incidents have happened before. The Youth Cricket League will start from March 8. Meanwhile, our league will start. However, Bogura Premier Division will be closed during the Youth Cricket League. It's BCB's ground. Can anyone stop BCB's matches?" Milon replied when asked why they chose to organise the Bogura Premier Division in the stadium at a time where it conflicts with the Youth Cricket League.

The Shaheed Chandu Stadium had hosted five ODIs and a Test match, and staged the Tigers' historic maiden ODI win against Sri Lanka in 2006. However, after the England 'A' team played at this ground in March the following year, during the tenure of the caretaker government, no international match had taken place ever since.

When contacted, Saiful Islam, the Bogura District Commissioner and Bogura DSA president, told The Daily Star: "I joined here only a few months ago. Nobody told me that there was a strained relationship between the BCB and the District Sports Association over the [Shaheed] Chandu Stadium here. I have not received any letter regarding the withdrawal of BCB goods and officials from Bogura, but I had to personally collect it [the letter]. It mentions the issue of non-cooperation."

He went on, "I am the president of the District Sports Association by post, that's why the BCB could have asked for justifications [for the overlapping tournament schedule] from me but the BCB did not. But after learning about this today, I have already requested the cricket board president and the Youth and Sports Minister so that the BCB does not withdraw the venue, keeping in mind the interest of the Bogura residents. Also, I have requested that BCB allow me a few months' time so that all BCB games are completed smoothly."



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