‘We do not give women’s cricket the attention it deserves’
Despite showing huge potential after winning the Women's Asia Cup in 2018, the Bangladesh national cricket team were unable to capitalise on the triumph to take things to the next level. The Daily Star's Ekush Tapader spoke to the chairman of the Bangladesh Cricket Board's women's wing, Shafiul Alam Chowdhury Nadel, to get an overview of the women cricketers, their current state and the future plan regarding them during an exclusive interview. The excerpts of the interview are as follows:
The Daily Star (DS): What are the areas you feel the Bangladesh women's cricket team needs to work on?
Shafiul Alam Chowdhury Nadel (SACN): We will not claim to be satisfied with where we are now. Questions like whether women's cricket is in very good shape, in a satisfactory state, or just in a good state were raised. So, in that context, we can say the condition of our women's cricket is going well but it is not at a satisfactory level. We have already started the longer version cricket, age-level tournaments, and we are going to start the school cricket tournament form this year. We also have two age-level national teams and we have an A team and there is the national team as well, which will enrich the pipeline. However, we won't say that we have enough players in the pipeline.
DS: Are there any plans to reform the selection committee and the coaching panel of the national team?
SACN: We have already appointed former Sri Lankan cricketer Hashan Tillakaratne as the head coach. We will also have a foreign bowling coach by the next two weeks and we are also in the process of roping in a foreign physio and a trainer for the national team. We have been understaffed but our board president [Nazmul Hassan Papon] has always supported us and now we are going to have a complete committee. Much like school cricket, we are planning to have tournaments at the district level.
DS: Since the Bangladesh women's team got the Test status, did the board set any plans for Test cricket?
SACN: We have already started the two-day longer version tournament and we may transform it into the three-day format in the coming days so that our players are able to adapt and adjust to the longer version. After that, we will plan to play Test matches.
DS: Do you think there are limitations in terms of infrastructure and facilities in women's cricket?
SACN: There are socio-economic influences in all aspects of life and since we live in a male dominated society, at times, we don't give as much importance to the women's national team as we give to the boys under-15 team. I am not blaming anyone individually. If we talk about sponsors and media coverage…we do not give the attention to the women's cricket it deserves. I think rather than raising questions, we can take a step forward from all parts of the society and then women's cricket in Bangladesh will go a long way.