They did not have a domestic tournament where 3-4 days matches were held. They did not have a domestic first class setup and a domestic first class tournament when they were granted test status.
Under the current rules you can't have a FC tournament until you are a full member of the ICC because FC status is defined by full members for matches taking place in theiterritory, unless a team from another full member nation is on tour to a non FC nation you can find the rules on http://www.icc-cricket.com/rules/official_cricket.pdf
(Source : Jeff Green on rsc)
There was an entertaining thread in rsc about first class competition in BD. I'll quote two interesting posts.
Andrew Dunford :
From what I gather, steps have been taken to put a first-class structure in
place which provides players with useful preparation for Test cricket. It's
interesting to note when these steps were taken in comparison to Bangladesh
being granted Test status.
For the 1998/99 season, the 'elite' domestic competition (then called the
Premier Division Cricket League) was 'upgraded' to two-day fixtures. Having
already applied for Test status, the BCB decided that a one-innings match of
80 overs per team spread over two days was better preparation for the
rigours of Test cricket than the previous 50-over format. Evidently the
decision caused consternation because some players thought the 80-over
format would be harmful to their preparation for the 1999 World Cup.
In January 1999, the ICC announced that Bangladesh wouldn't be granted Test
status until a first-class competition was established. At the ICC meeting
in June, only five full members voted in favour of Bangladesh becoming a
Test nation (seven votes were required). I believe South Africa, England,
New Zealand and Australia voted against. In August of that year, a
first-class competiton, the National Cricket League, was established;
three-day matches, first innings of each side to be restricted to 100 overs.
The BCB also started making a concerted effort to persuade other Test
nations to tour Bangladesh. Test status was finally granted in June 2000,
at which time there had been one season of first-class cricket, and the
national side had played a handful (I think nine) first-class matches
against sides from other nations.
Matches in the National Cricket League were lengthened to four days last
season (2001/02). At present six teams compete.
Samarth Harish Shah :
ICC presidents do not single-handedly elevate countries to test status.
All the full members have to vote. Bangladesh's case was brought up
once under Dalmiya's tenure in the 1999-2000 timeframe, when it was
actually voted down. The dissenting members said that BD didn't even
have a domestic competition.
So, BD administrators went back to the drawing board and structured a
FC competition, and came back in a few months (Malcolm Gray was ICC
president by then), when the ICC voted on BD's admission again. This
time, because there was no roadblock, the vote went through, and BD
became the 10th test playing nation. In fact, there were only 1 or 2
dissenting votes the second time around, I believe, because the BD
administrators were thought to have done a fantastic job in setting up
a FC competition in so short a time.
This is how I understand things panned out; I could be wrong. So in
fact, BD's plea for admission to test-status did NOT go through in
Dalmiya's tenure and actually DID go through in Malcolm Gray's tenure,
although I doubt that in either case the ICC president had much to do
with the actual vote.
For those who have more time : Link
Edited on, March 7, 2005, 5:15 PM GMT, by Tintin.