ICC keeps close eye on BÃ¢€™desh political climateStaff Correspondent
The International Cricket Council is keeping a close eye on the current political situation in Bangladesh ahead of the ICC World Twenty20 in March in light of deadly street fights, according to a top ICC official.
‘This is a situation that we have to consistently monitor,’ said ICC event manager Chris Tetley, who added that they intended to proceed with the tournament as planned at the present time.
The security situation in Bangladesh has been called into question following a month of politically-motivated street violence across the country that saw more than 50 people die since late October.
According to Agence France-Presse, among the deaths 21 have come in the last week since an announcement of a schedule for a general election amid boycott threat by major opposition political parties.
Tetley leads an ICC delegation for final round of inspection in proposed venues for the World Twenty20, scheduled in Bangladesh from March 16 to April 6.
According to Tetley, the purpose of the visit is ‘to have a look at the venues, to discuss progress on construction of venues and modifications that [they] need for the tournament [and] to have [their] normal operational meetings with the BCB’.
He addressed the question of security with media at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium on Monday.
‘Security is something we keep discussing. Obviously the things today could be different tomorrow. There will be a continual review of our arrangements against the situation. But at this stage, we are definitely happy.
‘It’s difficult to speculate because we don’t know what’s going to happen. All we can do is continually assess the situation and discuss with the BCB [Bangladesh Cricket Board] and make plans accordingly. It’s not something that I would speculate [on],’ he added.
The ICC inspection team also visited the Fatullah stadium in Narayanganj on Monday, as well as the Ruposhi Bangla and the Pan Pacific Sonargaon hotels in Dhaka. They were accompanied by a heavy security detail for each leg of their journey.
‘We are happy, this is our first day of inspections,’ said Tetley. ‘Today we have been to Fatullah and [now] in Mirpur. So far our plans have been good and plans are progressing as we would expect.’
Tetley went on to praise developments at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium.
‘The dressing room facilities here are fantastic. We have four dressing rooms here, which we need for the double-headers during the ICC World Twenty20,’ he said.
‘The two new dressing rooms here are first class – as good as anywhere in the world.’
The ICC inspectors will travel to Chittagong today to visit the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium before heading to Sylhet the following day to inspect the Sylhet Divisional Stadium, which has been tapped to host the women’s tournament and six matches of the men’s section but has yet to receive an ICC approval after a series of delays and setbacks during its renovation.
The inspectors will return to Dhaka on Thursday to visit the BKSP grounds.
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