Time for action, both home & abroad
Two individuals closely involved with the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) believe that it is high time for the high-ups to raise their voice strongly in favour of the Tigers maiden full-fledged tour of India.
Both former national skippers-turned BCB officials Gazi Ashraf Hossain and Naimur Rahman said that as a full member of the International Cricket Council (ICC) Bangladesh have the right to play in India, which is yet to happen since the country's elevation to the sport's highest level in 2000. And they ridiculed the sentiment of an official of the Board of Control for Cricket in India, who was quoted by an Indian newspaper as dismissively asking: “Who will come to watch Bangladesh play in India?”
“Honestly speaking we have been silent accomplices in this matter as in return we got India at home more than expected. The result was that our revenue increased. Financially we might have been in a negative situation if India hadn't visited us. But I think it's now high time for us to make our first full-fledged tour of India,” said Gazi Ashraf yesterday.
“We need to play in India for our growth at the highest level. You know cricket is more than a game and in fact a bilateral series creates an opportunity to strengthen the bond not only between the teams, but the countries. Now it is time for us to raise our voice regarding this issue. We have a very cordial relationship with the Indian board and we just need to address the issue properly,” continued Ashraf, adding that 'Who will come to watch Bangladesh play in India?' cannot be a serious question asked by a cricket official.
Naimur however said that the ICC should take a bold initiative so that Bangladesh can play their first Test in India.
“So far all the members are equal, so its Bangladesh's right to get a series in India on regular basis. Are we operating in a two-tier format? No. So you should treat everybody equally. A bold initiative is needed from the ICC. ICC should have absolute control over the FTP (Future Tour Programmes) but unfortunately you all know what the real picture is,” said Naimur.
“On the other hand if you consider our recent improvement graph in international cricket it is quite satisfactory. India have a long history while we have been here for just thirteen years and if you compare the time frame then we are not far away. I think now is the time to raise our voice. If we wanted we could have pursued the matter at the government level, but we didn't. But our current board president (Nazmul Hassan Papon) is in good touch with his Indian counterparts. Let's hope for best,” he added.