Bangladesh Cricket Board mull protest against ICC's two-tier Test plan
The proposal of dividing the longest format of the game into two tiers has surely not gone down too well with the Bangladesh Cricket Board as it has been learnt that the directors of the body are set to have a discussion amongst themselves to prepare their stance on the agenda which is set to be discussed at the International Cricket Council's annual conference in Edinburgh later this month.
Bangladesh are currently placed 9th in the ICC Test rankings and will most likely fall in the second tier if the mentioned system is implemented in 2019. According to a report in EspnCricinfo, the BCB will try to introspect the fact that whether the ICC will have any role in scheduling the Future Tours Programme or it will be left to the two countries playing the bilateral series. After having the knowledge, then only the BCB can act upon that but currently, they are fretting over the scarcity of the Tests in the second tier which might act as a hindrance to their promotion.
Future of Bangladesh Cricket
BCB director Ahmed Sajjadul Alam told ESPNcricinfo. “The pertinent question that has to be asked to the BCB president and CEO is whether the BCB raised any proposals, amendments or suggestions when Shashank Manohar had asked all members to give views on the FTP.”
Alam fears that the rising public interest in Bangladesh cricket, along with that of broadcasters and sponsors, would take a hit if the ICC adopted the two-tier system. He also looked worried about the future of Bangladesh cricket as he pointed out, “Already we now have to qualify for ICC events like the 50-over World Cup and World T20. If we don't qualify for these two ICC events, and at the same time remain a second-tier [Test] side, interest among the public, media, broadcasters and sponsors will be greatly reduced.”
One of the three directors who vehemently opposed the Big Three’s proposal to restructure the ICC in 2014, Alam rued the fact the board is incurring a huge loss and he also provided an ominous warning which might just startle the lower-ranked teams, “Soon world cricket will go back by several decades to the time when the Imperial Cricket Conference used to run the show, with just six or seven teams playing cricket and teams like Bangladesh waiting in the sidelines for handouts."
Another Director, Tanjil Chowdhury feels that the two-tier system will be unable to take the gentleman’s game forward as he opined, "I am against the two-tier system that is being proposed. I think it will pull cricket development backwards. Inclusiveness doesn't work at the games' premium level, which is Test cricket."
The predicament of Bangladesh is quite understandable and they surely need more matches against top-ranked teams to help their cause. Right now, a replication of their limited-overs performance in the Tests is of utmost importance and they should look forward to do that with zeal and zest.