Players excite, officials don't
One can identify the real state of Bangladesh Cricket simply by observing what has happened in the first round of the country's most coveted 50-over competition; the Dhaka Premier League (DPL).
In an interview recently, a young local coach categorically said that it was the players who changed the complexion of Bangladesh in world cricket. The ongoing league might be the best stake to those claims.
Were there any signs of the players being disheartened after a controversial 'players-by-choice' system scrapped their freedom of choice and bargaining rights? Not quite. From Mashrafe Bin Mortaza to young Al-Amin, everyone showed their professionalism. The hunger, dedication and sincerity that majority of players demonstrated only reflected why Bangladesh cricket is moving forward.
Coming off a grueling Indian Premier League season, Shakib Al Hasan showed no signs of slacking to make it clear that the players were true professionals. There will not be many who can argue with the competitiveness of the league.
However, while the performance of the players is a good sign, the ugly part was the alleged malpractice behind the scenes. With players doing their best to take cricket ahead, it seems like the old-fashioned and narrow-minded administrators are doing their best to hold back its development.
Fifteen years after being recognised as a Test nation, how could the question of trickery from the organisers of a competition which has attained List A status even arise?
It is hard to believe that in days such as now, when cricket reflects the hopes of the country, someone could even think about seeping water onto the pitch in order to manage a point for one team and deprive a targeted team of a point.
Alas! Nobody seems ashamed for changing the venue or shifting the match without any valid reason.
Why should a situation arise where one could raise questions about biased umpiring or appointing a favoured official to preside over a match?
The repeated promises to look into the controversies from the BCB boss are more frustrating. If the BCB president is sincere in his fight to stop the malpractice in order to save the country's cricket, then he should first put a proper system in place and take action without delays.
The incumbent president, Nazmul Hassan Papon, did not hesitate to take a strong stand against match-fixing in the Bangladesh Premier League, he hardly took time before taking stern and exemplary action against Shakib on disciplinary grounds, he showed a lot of mature diplomacy to handle the crisis with his Pakistani counterparts soon after he took over the country's most prominent sports body.
Surprisingly, more than two months have passed since the board officials stressed the importance of reviving the bowling review committee following Taskin Ahmed and Arafat Sunny's suspension from the T20 World Cup to ensure that there would be no further embarrassments on the international stage. This begs the question: how long can an issue be under process?
According to BCB sources 12 to 13 bowlers were reported for illegal actions several times during the first phase of the DPL. However, no action has been taken and it seems that they are waiting for another international embarrassment before raising their voices again.
With the players striving so hard to take the game ahead, it's a shame that the administrators are not on the same page.