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Murad
October 27, 2010, 01:11 PM
Will COO be a CEO or a glorified clerk?
Thursday, October 28, 2010


Saber Hossain Chowdhury has been silent for quite some time. The former BCB president, who put Bangladesh cricket on a strong footing on the world map, has always been an inspiration or a guide when he talked about cricket and its future during his tenure. The Daily Star Sport made a whole-hearted effort to break his silence at a stage when the cricket board needs a well-constructed opinion from the sidelines from a person who has gone through it at a very crucial juncture of our cricket. We put a set of questions in front of him to answer and he was kind enough to comply with our request.

Daily Star Sport (DSS): How did you celebrate Bangladesh cricket team's 4-0 whitewash of New Zealand?

Saber Hossain Chowdhury (SHC): With a great deal of joy, pride, satisfaction and I must confess, a relief too! Now we must focus on making a habit of winning and sustain the momentum this historic series win has given us. The players and administrators must not get carried away and instead fathom the sobering reality that the expectation bar has now been raised much higher.

DSS: Are you happy with the way the Tigers are progressing?

SHC: Progress is a relative term and is also context specific. Hence, a simple happy or unhappy is not the warranted response. Yes, there has been some progress no doubt but I have not seen much in terms of goal setting and a defining vision yet from the BCB that would establish an objective threshold against which we could measure our progress in quantitative and qualitative terms. I would have been happier and more comfortable had such a set of performance and target indicators been in place.

For instance, over the next few years, where do we wish to see Bangladesh cricket in terms of ICC rankings, how many coaches of various categories will we have, how many groundsmen, umpires will we have trained, developing professionalism at all levels, how many young cricketers do we wish to reach out to, how many indoor facilities will be created, to what extent will we have decentralised the administration and playing of the game, how do we regulate and monitor the standard of coaching schools and given that cricket has a strong commercial dimension as well nowadays, how do we mind the business of cricket? These are all fundamental and basic questions in evaluating progress.

DSS: You had a dream of decentralising cricket in Bangladesh in its true sense. Obviously the reality is far from your dream. Why is it so difficult?

SHC: The administration of the game requires the right skills and attributes -- leadership, strategic vision, initiative and the will to bring about change.

DSS: You have heard that the BCB is contemplating to amend its constitution and change the CEO into COO. The amendment is likely to go for a verdict in the November 30 EGM. Do you think the change will be good for our cricket?

SHC: I am not aware of the reason and motivation behind such an attempted change and BCB will be able to answer better. What we have to look at though is not just terminology and words but the actual terms of reference of CEO and COO as determined by BCB.

What is the point of someone carrying the title of a CEO when in reality his terms of reference are such that he is at best a glorified clerk.

The role that BCB defines for a CEO or COO will in turn be guided by how BCB views itself and how it wishes to evolve, grow and mature as an institution over the years. If it wishes to embrace a culture of professionalism, transparency, accountability and wishes to be judged on the basis of targets and timelines it sets for itself, then there can be no alternative to having a competent management team led by a dynamic and result oriented individual, backed by strong finances and driven by a clear vision that BCB has defined.

DSS: In democracy it is the mandate of the most that counts. But in our sports you must have painfully observed the power struggle between the councillors from districts and the Dhaka clubs ultimately hindered the progress of sports. Cricket has also fallen victim to it. How do you react to it?

SHC: Our cricket has evolved in two distinct areas -- districts and the Dhaka clubs -- and both have their respective contributions and we must acknowledge this reality. The leadership challenge here is to harmonise the two and harness this in an optimal manner so that at the end of the day we have constructed a win-win-win for the clubs, the districts and of course the game of cricket in Bangladesh. Both have to view themselves as integral parts of a composite whole and I am sure such a construct is very much possible.

DSS: The World Cup is only a few months away and Bangladesh is a proud co-host. Do you think we are preparing for the august occasion in a best possible way? How can we lift our image in the 2011 World Cup? Do you have a slogan for that?

SHC: The World Cup presents a unique and wonderful opportunity to showcase Bangladesh in all respects and this was certainly in our minds when we first registered our interest in 2000 to be co-hosts. We will be welcoming the world to Bangladesh and Bangladesh will finds its way to television sets round the world to millions of people.

I am not aware of any steps or any special promotions beyond cricket and this is a huge let down and development. Could we have not have, for instance, designated 2011 as "Visit Bangladesh Year" on account of the World Cup and organised special packages?

We seem to be treating the World Cup as a cricketing event and not a global showcasing opportunity and there is so much we could have shared about Bangladesh with the world.

DSS: Which sounds more appropriate to you -- BCB president elect or BCB president select?

SHC: This is not a question of appropriateness -- an elected BCB president is an imperative if we wish to see cricket flourish, blossom and prosper. The sooner this translates to reality, the better off we all will be.

http://www.thedailystar.net/newDesign/news-details.php?nid=160278

Murad
October 27, 2010, 01:24 PM
Feeling bad after reading the interview. What an intelligent man!!

MohammedC
October 27, 2010, 01:29 PM
Why BAL did not make him president again?

cricket_dorshok
October 27, 2010, 01:39 PM
What a wastage of talent!
eto intelligent ekta lok bad diye shalar 'bodna' r 'vutum pakhi' hoiche BCB er korta bekti.

mac
October 27, 2010, 01:55 PM
Feeling sad. We could have reached much higher if he was around.

ammark
October 27, 2010, 02:05 PM
Indeed. It was nice when he popped up on BC a few years ago. Saber Hossain Chy has always been exactly the right man for Bangladesh Cricket. Instead we'll see BCB squander itself, no thanks to some sycophantic meddling gloryhunters!

Equinox
October 27, 2010, 02:46 PM
Why BAL did not make him president again?
Got on the wrong side of Madam IIRC.

FaridpurChicago
October 27, 2010, 05:13 PM
When the administrators look for chamchami then they try to find incompetent persons. It is difficult for a quality guy like SHC to stand for 'jee huzur madam'. This is the irony.

bura
October 27, 2010, 05:45 PM
Thanks murad bhai for posting this. The parts you have bolded is very important. This is actually talking about some policies we could have taken but the current management is not doing it and may be not even bothered to do it. They are happy with throwing parties, promising random gifts with no proper thinking. And if the team fails some ajaira chilla palla in press briefings...

gifts 6 months impact at best.
with policies you can make virtually ever lasting impacts.

Shehwar
October 27, 2010, 06:08 PM
With all due respect to all our politicians I never really rated them at all. But this guy is a class act. Always had a huge deal of respect for him. He has done so much for our cricket and he knows his stuff. It's really sad that he couldn't continue with BCB because of our political culture.
<br />Posted via BC Mobile Edition

Nasif
October 27, 2010, 06:25 PM
Have always been a big fan of Saber Chowdhury. I can't think of a good reason of why AL won't give him BCB; unless of course he didn't want to do it.

Big loss for BD cricket.

Zunaid
October 27, 2010, 06:28 PM
A very intelligent, articulate and visionary man. It is a shame there are so few like him in our political arena - no matter what their political affiliations are.

Tendulkar_Mcgrath
October 27, 2010, 06:36 PM
This Poltician Person has Talent inside. I remember that his l ongspeech about Bangladesh Cricket Development at ICC board led Bangladesh to attain Test Status.

Kana-Baba
October 27, 2010, 07:58 PM
just love this guy!

Dilscoop
October 28, 2010, 01:48 AM
Never thought of anything like "Visit Bangladesh Year". I doubt it came to BCB's mind. And I doubt BCB even thinks of the goals he talks about in the article.

Saber Hossain era was one of the best era of our olden days. He appointed the right kind of staff and coach for our teams, he was determent to take us to the next level. He did his very best with all his limited power. And dare I say, if our current board and BCB was in charge back then, than we wouldn't be here today.

I would love to see Saber Hossain in BCB again. And if he does come to BCB again, I have no doubt in my mind that he try his best to do all these follow things and succeed

where do we wish to see Bangladesh cricket in terms of ICC rankings, how many coaches of various categories will we have, how many groundsmen, umpires will we have trained, developing professionalism at all levels, how many young cricketers do we wish to reach out to, how many indoor facilities will be created, to what extent will we have decentralised the administration and playing of the game, how do we regulate and monitor the standard of coaching schools and given that cricket has a strong commercial dimension as well nowadays, how do we mind the business of cricket? These are all fundamental and basic questions in evaluating progress.

kalpurush
October 28, 2010, 03:31 AM
A very intelligent, articulate and visionary man. It is a shame there are so few like him in our political arena - no matter what their political affiliations are.
Sob-e amader kopal! Thik bolechhen Zunaid bhai.
I wish to see him as BCB BOSS again regardless which political party is in power.

Imteaz
October 28, 2010, 04:10 AM
He was definitely better than present BCB chairman. But........ Politics!!!!

shuziburo
October 28, 2010, 05:07 AM
He was definitely better than present BCB chairman.

You don't say!!!

However, given his history and the shortsightedness of our politicians, I don't expect him to return to BCB.

shuziburo
October 28, 2010, 05:09 AM
Sob-e amader kopal! Thik bolechhen Zunaid bhai.
I wish to see him as BCB BOSS again regardless which political party is in power.

Me too,along with many others. But, it is highly unlikely. I can only wonder where we might be, had he remained at BCB...

simon
October 28, 2010, 05:28 AM
hope to see him back again.

roman
October 28, 2010, 10:45 AM
He was definitely better than present BCB chairman. But........ Politics!!!!

R u kidding me? He was the best we ever had and we'll ever have.

There is a saying that Bangladesh e gunir kodor nai. Just coz he didnt do much chamchami, Saber is not an influential leader of BAL. I really get disgusted by our stupid politics...

Jaybaba
October 28, 2010, 11:15 AM
It is indeed a loss to BD cricket that this government isn't utilizing his obvious capabilities.

Its never too late though, hope the leadership can see beyond politics to put him in a position to serve BD cricket or even tourism perhaps.

meazz1
October 28, 2010, 11:15 AM
Real talent.
No wonder he is in politics.
Best thing from this interview is " visit Bnagladesh" thing.

bujhee kom
October 29, 2010, 03:02 PM
The reason I believe the Awami League top command and the hon. prime minister might have been a bit unhappy and cold with Shaber Hussain Chowdhury sir is that during the couple years of Army backed Care-taker Government's reign, Shaber Hussain Chowdhury along a few other leaders of AL spoke of changes and reform in the party which the other leaders did not see as being very loyal. Now this is my assumption and words on the street.

We all have responsibility for our cricket and the Tigers. What I think we must do is approach the hon. PM Sheikh Hasina and try to convey this message to her stating how great it will be to have Shaber sir back as the BD cricket czar and that this man, Shaber Hussain sir is still the same man who is driven by the ideology, concepts and inspirations of our Bongobondhu. And I think we should do it, in a very polite and humble manner and I am hopeful that PM will listen.

I also think Lotus Kamal sir is in many ways underapprecited and misunderstood in the BD cricket world. But he is a gifted and dedicated leader no doubt. I think he should be given the BD Football-soccer BaFuFe Chief/czar job and I think he will be able to help prosper the Football tradition in Bangladesh very well.