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Tehsin
March 5, 2003, 05:24 PM
Saber's ten-point solution
Sports Reporter

Former Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) president Saber Hossain Chowdhury has called for an impartial inquiry into Bangladesh's disastrous World Cup campaign.
Appearing in a rare cricket related event, Saber bared his soul, lamenting the sharp decline of the country's cricketing image since he was forced out of the office and strongly refuting the suggestions that Bangladesh were granted Test status through some dubious dealings during his reign as the game's supremo.

Saber also put forward a ten-point suggestion hoping that the government would implement them to put cricket back on the right track but added that there was no chance of that happening without a good leadership.

"I think that at present the BCB is rudderless and without a future or a present vision. They only know how to criticise about the past," said Saber while taking an indirect swipe at his successor BNP MP Ali Asghar Lobi..

Speaking at a crowded media briefing at the National Press Club yesterday, Saber, the organising secretary of the main opposition party Awami League, said that he did not arrange the meeting to create a political issue out of the World Cup debacle rather his undying affection for the game prompted his action.

The pioneer organiser noted that the recent remarks of BCB president Asghar regarding formation of a probe body consisting of a retired army officer and a former bureaucrat gave the wrong signals regarding proper investigation of the World Cup mishap.

"The probe committee can not be formed with retired military officers and bureaucrats who have little understanding of the game. It should consist of former national captains, players, national coaches and the organisers.

"May I also ask why the inquiry will only cover the national squad? Why don't they take the whole BCB set up to the task?" said Saber adding that the people who have been entrusted with developing and managing the country's cricket should be made to answer.

Elaborating his ten-point proposal, the former BCB boss said that those were designed to stop further destruction of cricket.

His first point called for ridding the cricket administration of political influence and appoint people with proper cricketing background to run the game. "There's just too much party politics now in the BCB," Saber observed.

Saber's second suggestion touched on National Cricket League format which has suffered most from the BCB's illogical ideas.

"The Board shouldn't have shortened our only First Class competition format because that was designed to decentralise the game and take it out of Dhaka. We also wanted that for the development of the game and its infrastructure in all the six divisions.


"The League should have expanded more by now but instead they (the present BCB administration) have cut it short," said Saber.


Thirdly he asked the government to dissolve the present advisory council of the Board and reinstate the democratically elected Board of Directors who had been working on a set plan for development of the game.


Saber next sought competent people in the various standing committees of the BCB.


"I don't have any problem with the Prime Minister's son Arafat Rahman (head of the BCB's development committee) joining the BCB. It's a blessing for the game as he is in a position to influence certain issues in favour of cricket and that's how the Board should utilise his presence. But he should not be given charge of development as there are more capable people for that job," Saber said.


In his fifth recommendation, Saber wanted the coaches training programme to resume because that is one of the basic plans for any Test playing country.


"We had six national coaches and four Sri Lankan coaches to develop our overall coaching standard. But eight out of those ten coaches have lost their jobs and there is hardly any coaching programme nowadays.


"The current president has said that he has stopped it for fund shortage but his argument holds no ground because according to the plan we had formulated, Bangladesh's cricket is assured of drawing more than Taka 150 crores between 2001 to 2007 from different sources which include corporate sponsorship and grants from the ICC and ACC," added Saber.

Saber's sixth point was about developing cricket infrastructure across the country.

"We had started to developing venues in six divisional headquarters. But that work is now at a standstill for reasons unknown," he said.

In his next suggestion, Saber wanted the reintroduction of the A team programme that would ultimately help in developing a strong national team. He pointed out that there was no tour of the A team last year which had been a regular feature during his time.

In his eighth point, Saber asked the government to appoint enough foreign coaches for the age-group development programmes. He also sought the return of the out of contract six national coaches to conduct different training programmes of the BCB.

Saber's penultimate demanded was of a change in the selection committee. He said that there was a standard procedure in his time of not including anybody in the selection committee who had not played for the national team. But that is not the case anymore.

Finally, Saber thought that there should be better communication between the ICC and other Test playing nations. Saber also denounced ICC Chairman Malcolm Gray's recent remark that the ICC did not follow proper procedures while granting Bangladesh the Test status in 2000.

"We had good communication with everybody. But it seems we have lost that rapport otherwise there is no reason for Malcolm Grey to make such an objectionable remark," he said adding that the board should have protested that statement officially.

"Malcolm should know that the ICC followed a detailed and deliberate four-year long procedure from 1997 to 2000 before granting Bangladesh the Test status."

Tehsin
March 5, 2003, 05:26 PM
Party politics have destroyed every other aspects of development in our country, why should cricket be any different. As long as we have party politics, there's not much we can do about the structure of BCB and the development of cricket in BD.

Pundit
March 5, 2003, 07:04 PM
Great to be able to hear from "Da Man."

Sham
March 5, 2003, 08:09 PM
Yeah SHC has made some very good recommendation.

The highlight for me :"The Board shouldn't have shortened our only First Class competition format because that was designed to decentralise the game and take it out of Dhaka. We also wanted that for the development of the game and its infrastructure in all the six divisions."

Tehsin
March 5, 2003, 08:37 PM
"We had good communication with everybody. But it seems we have lost that rapport otherwise there is no reason for Malcolm Grey to make such an objectionable remark," he said adding that the board should have protested that statement officially.


In one of the Bangla papers, they also quoted Saber as saying that BCB was wrong not to speak out when there were reports that questioned the activities surrounding the test status. We earned it through ICC where they followed a detailed and deliberate four-year long procedure from 1997 to 2000. We did not earn it overnight.

Nasif
March 6, 2003, 01:17 AM
Although I don't support AL, but one guy I always supported for cricket was Saber. He is really "THE MAN" for cricket. I wish he stayed as the president.

Shubho
March 6, 2003, 09:15 AM
I didn't think even SHC had it in him to play a constructive role. I'm even more surprised that he doesn't mind having the PM's son within the BCB, albeit not in the Development Committee.

But guess what, his words are going to fall on deaf ears. The BCB needs a big shake-up, and that won't happen unless the officials have the courage to admit that they are incompetent and resign.

Sham
March 6, 2003, 10:30 AM
Shubho, that is not going to happen. No one takes responsibility for anything and resigns in Bangladesh. Thats a civilized concept, and our politicians are not civilized. So lets forget about Lobi stepping down or board members resigning because it won't happen. The point is to put enough pressure on them for them to realize that they have to change their ways. They can't run the BCB the way they are doing.

rafiq
March 6, 2003, 06:14 PM
why don't we go to petitiononline and request khaleda zia to personally intervene ? she is the only one that can make it happen, perhaps out of pure shame. shame trickles in to the insides, it must

Pundit
March 6, 2003, 11:44 PM
Mr. Rafiq, really, neither of the two top ladies has remotely any need to address BCB's plight !!

Clearly all these political slanders here are just too one sided !!