For years, Bangladesh cricket had looked up to India for patronage, and in turn had always stood by the most influential cricketing nation in the world at the International Cricket Council (ICC).
However, Bangladesh’s current administration signalled a major departure when it chose to abstain rather than back India’s opposition to the ICC decision to roll back the ‘Big Three’ revenue model of 2014 giving the lion’s share of the world body’s revenue to India, Australia and England.
More money, Tests
Bangladesh Cricket Board president, Nazmul Hasan, considered a tough administrator, said it had no choice as the Board stands to gain a lot in financial terms as well as Test cricket.
“We need money. Although things have improved with a lot of local sponsors coming in, the increase in our ICC share will make a lot of difference to domestic cricket, number of grounds. Besides, we expect regular Test matches,” Hasan told HT on Saturday.
“We aren’t playing enough Tests with higher-ranked teams. We began to play ODIs with India, Pakistan and South Africa recently and that is why we improved in the format.”
Hasan has been credited with taking a tough stand on errant players. He is said to have pulled up star all-rounder Shakib al Hasan for indiscipline, even threatening to axe him. The story goes that Shakib, en route to the West Indies to play in the Caribbean Premier League against the wishes of the BCB, was called back from London and given a dressing down.
“When I came in, I heard people saying no one will touch the current players. But the next day, I began changing players. Earlier, they would go by statistics. But then we began to throw young players into the deep end. On the recent tour of New Zealand, we played four or five new players,” he said.
BCCI’s pullout threat
The ICC’s reversal of the revenue proposals pushed through by India three years ago, is set to be finalised in April. Member of the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators, Vikram Limaye has sought time to study the proposals, but ICC chairman, Shashank Manohar has made it clear there will be no change in the decision to ditch the 2014 revenue model.
Some Indian cricket officials have even threatened to pull out of ICC tournaments, but Hasan feels India only will suffer.
“They can’t pull out of ICC tournaments. If they play only Zimbabwe, Bangladesh or Sri Lanka, who’ll watch them? Having said that, we, especially Bangladesh cricket, need a strong India. If they are strong, we are safe.”
Ruling out a tour to Pakistan over security concerns, Hasan said, “We don’t want to be the first one. We don’t want to put pressure on other nations.”