ICC WORLD TWENTY20 2014
Countdown starts amid concernsStaff Correspondent
The 100-day countdown to the ICC World Twenty20 began on Friday with local organisers worried that the current political instability could cost Bangladesh the right to host the tournament.
The beefed up security in and around the South Plaza Gate of the Jatiya Sangsad Bhaban on the Manik Mia Avenue, where the countdown began in the presence of ICC and BCB officials and cricketers Sakib al Hasan, Mahmuduallah and Salma Khatun, clearly indicated the prevailing anxiety.
The security situation in Bangladesh has been called into question following a month of politically-motivated street violence across the country that has seen more than 50 people killed since late October.
The number of deaths increased significantly following the announcement of a general election schedule amid boycott threats by major opposition political parties.
‘The ICC can shift the event three weeks before the tournament,’ said one BCB official.
‘Thank God [the countdown function] has ended without any fuss, but we took drastic measures to increase security. Here at least 200 plainclothes men are positioned in different places, along with the uniformed security forces,’ he added.
BCB president Nazmul Hasan expressed his concern about the political situation.
‘Like everyone else, I am also concerned with the whole affair,’ said Nazmul.
‘But cricket has a different meaning to our people and I am sure they would love to help us in completing the event irrespective of their political identity.’
An inspection team, led by ICC events manager Chris Tetley, is currently in Bangladesh for a final round of visits to proposed venues for the World Twenty20, scheduled for March 16-April 6 next year.
Tetley said that he was surprised to learn that the tickets that had been made available for the World Twenty20 had sold out so quickly after the initial release.
‘The speed at which the tickets were sold was amazing, and certainly it was the fastest in any ICC event so far,’ said Tetley.
‘The next round of tickets will be sold from February 1.’
The countdown ceremony in Dhaka began with a musical performance by the band Shunno, who sang the famous folk song ‘Khachar Bhitor Ochin Pakhi’.
The programme, which started at 10:00pm, also featured a display of fireworks at midnight.
Programmes were also held simultaneously at Circuit House Circle, MA Aziz Stadium in Chittagong and the Keane Bridge on the Surma River in Sylhet.
Nasir Hossain and Sohag Gazi joined the celebration in Chittagong, while opening batman Anamul Haque was present in Sylhet.
comments powered by Disqus
Sheikh Jamal Dhanmondi Club moved into the Federation Cup final for the fourth consecutive time with a 3-0 thrashing of Abahani Limited in the first semi-final at the Bangabandhu National Stadium on Friday. A brace from Haitian playmaker... Full story
Muhammad Ali paid heartfelt tribute and cricketers and golfers donned black armbands and ribbons Friday as the sports world united in respect and mourning after the death of Nelson Mandela. Heavyweight boxing legend Ali said Mandela... Full story
Reigning champions Spain will begin their defence of the World Cup with a rematch of the 2010 final against the Netherlands, while England were paired with Italy in FridayÃ¢€™s draw. Spain, who won their first title in South Africa four years... Full story
Hyundai Motors Bangladesh Limited, an official partner of the ICC World Twenty20, Bangladesh, 2014, put the trophy of the tournament on display at its Dhaka showroom on Friday. Full story
The Bangladesh Under-19 bowlers bundled the visiting West Indies Under-19s out for 118 to guide the Junior Tigers to a 104-run victory in the first of the seven-match ODI series in Chittagong on Friday. The hosts won the toss and elected to... Full story
Michael Clarke and Brad Haddin plundered centuries before a firebrand Mitchell Johnson blasted out England captain Alastair Cook to leave the tourists reeling in the second Ashes Test on Friday. Skipper Clarke claimed his third... Full story
Yogendran Krishnan of Malaysia will face Hsu Jen Hao of Chinese Taipei in the menÃ¢€™s singles final today while Saili Rane of India will play Chinese TaipeiÃ¢€™s Pai Hsiao Ma in the womenÃ¢€™s singles final... Full story
The Asian Tour is looking to expand into new markets in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Laos, its executive chairman Kyi Hlan Han said on Friday. Ã¢€˜WeÃ¢€™re out there trying to look into new markets,Ã¢€™ he said in Hong Kong where... Full story
Bangladesh golfer Siddikur Rahman bowed out of the Hong Kong Open on Friday at the Hong Kong golf club. Siddik hit three-over-par 73 in the second round and consequently missed the cut. Overall he struck four-over-par 144 in two rounds of the US$1.3 million tournament. Full story
A maiden double-century by Darren Bravo stalled New ZealandÃ¢€™s victory drive Friday as the West Indies ended day four of the first Test in Dunedin at 443-6, a lead of 47. After an early morning collapse in which the West Indies slumped... Full story
Quinton de Kock, 12 days short of his 21st birthday, hit a thrilling century to set up a convincing 141-run win for South Africa in the first one-day international against India at the Wanderers Stadium on Thursday. Full story
New Zealand cricketers Chris Cairns and Daryl Tuffey have expressed shock at being linked to a match-fixing probe, with at least one of them seeking legal advice. Three former New Zealand representatives are under investigation... Full story
Afghanistan will get another boost as a fledgling cricketing nation when they play former world champions Pakistan for the first time in a Twenty20 international in Sharjah on Sunday. The Afghans learnt the game in Pakistan as refugees during... Full story
Chicago shook off its form slump and made light of the absence of Derrick Rose by beating NBA defending champion Miami 107-87 on Thursday. In the dayÃ¢€™s other games, the Los Angeles Clippers produced a strong second half to overwhelm Memphis and New... Full story
The key to a successful World Cup campaign is to start off against tougher opponents rather than easier ones, World Cup winners Mario Kempes of Argentina and Zinedine Zidane of France both agreed on Thursday. Full story
David Moyes has demanded Manchester United stop their season from spiralling out of control when the struggling champions face Newcastle today. United manager Moyes endured a dispiriting evening at Old Trafford on Wednesday as his former club Everton... Full story
By mixing jaw-dropping goals with a growing list of brushes with controversy, Luis Suarez divides opinion like perhaps no other player in world football. Since 2010, SuarezÃ¢€™s crime sheet includes biting two... Full story
Barcelona coach Gerardo Martino has said he canÃ¢€™t guarantee that World Player of the Year Lionel Messi will be fit to feature when his side return to action after the Spanish winter break in January. Messi was ruled out for the rest of the year after tearing... Full story
In the belief football can play a role in resolving political strife, FIFA said Thursday it is further extending its frontiers, unveiling India as host for the Under-17 World Cup in 2017. World footballÃ¢€™s governing body has come in for criticism... Full story
Real MadridÃ¢€™s Spain midfielder Xabi Alonso will decide Ã¢€˜very soonÃ¢€™ whether to extend his contract beyond the end of this season, coach Carlo Ancelotti said on Friday. Alonso, who turned 32 last month, missed the start of the current campaign... Full story
WC prize money increased to $576m The 32 teams at next yearÃ¢€™s World Cup finals will share a total fund of $576 million, including a prize-money pot of $358m with the winners taking home $35m, FIFA said on Thursday. The amount of money... Full story