BCB sad, not worried as WI U-19 leaveStaff Correspondent
The Bangladesh Cricket Board said it was sad that the West Indies Cricket Board pulled its Under-19 team out of its series in Bangladesh but insisted that there was little reason to be worried ahead of much bigger competitions.
The WICB did not entertain a desperate BCB request to proceed with the seven-match series, and the visiting side left Dhaka on Tuesday afternoon, leaving a dark cloud over Bangladesh cricket.
‘So there is no reason to be scared,’ said BCB president Nazmul Hasan, reacting to the incident after an emergency meeting on Tuesday. ‘The security that we had arranged, there was nothing to worry. West Indies U-19 left, we are sad about it, but we are not worried.’
The BCB said it did everything it could to revive the series after the West Indies withdrew the team in the wake of a blast on the rooftop of a pastry shop outside their hotel in Chittagong on Saturday.
However, the WICB did not pay any heed to the BCB appeal and took the report of US security experts into cognisance when making their decision.
‘The situation here is not as such that the West Indian team had to leave,’ said Nazmul. ‘The cocktail blast was not keeping in cricket or cricketers in mind. And it was also told that a few days ago [that the] ICC team had come here for inspection, and even they saw the security arrangement and they were happy.
‘We asked them to talk to [the WICB] also. Eventually they did not respond as much. Players’ family members were a bit worried, and they told their board that they want their children back.
‘It can happen. It can happen to us as well. But one thing that I can say is that with this there was no risk to cricket,’ insisted Nazmul.
‘This is a political problem here, this is not terrorist activity. Maybe some of their activities are like that, but basically this is a political problem,’ said Nazmul, also a ruling party lawmaker, referring to the series of strikes and blockades by opposition parties.
‘They are not linked to terrorism. Hartals and blockades are going on, and this did not start today; it’s been going on for a while. New Zealand team played in a hartal and went, many series went away,’ he said.
‘The most important thing is that [this is a] cricket-loving country. One thing that should be mentioned is that the opposition party also once reduced the hartal by half a day so that our game would not be affected.
‘There is a clear message that cricket will remain outside their political interests,’ said Nazmul.
The BCB president added that this could have happened even if they had shifted all the matches to Mirpur.
‘In Mirpur also there might be a cocktail. Go to Gulshan during hartals; even there I heard a sound. No one can say that it can happen here or there,’ he said.
‘But I believe that with cricket they won’t do such a thing. They have always supported cricket.
‘[The Federation Cup] football tournament is going on and foreign players are playing. Blockades and hartals will happen. It will always happen. It happened in 1996 and 2006 but it has never extended for too long.
‘I believe that it will be over by January,’ he added.
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