Terror threat might keep international teams away from touring Bangladesh
With the ever-increasing terror threat in Bangladesh, cricket fans in the Asian country might soon be forced to watch their national team play their home games away from Bangladesh, feels former ICC president Ehsan Mani. The 71-year-old feels his home country will be faced with the same situation that has troubled neighbouring Pakistan ever since the visiting Sri Lankan team were targetted by terrorists in 2009.
Pakistan have been forced to play their home series ever since that fateful incident in the UAE and the situation has not shown any signs of improvement despite Zimbabwe and Bangladesh themselves touring Pakistan for a short duration. In the wake of the recent terror attack that saw 20 foreign nationals being killed at an upscale cafe in Dhaka, Mani fears for the future of cricket in Bangladesh.
"After what happened in Dhaka I fear that like Pakistan the Bangladesh board will also find it difficult to convince teams to tour their country," Mani said in an interview, as reported by NDTV Sports. "I am concerned that Bangladesh cricket might also be hit hard by terrorism like Pakistan cricket has suffered in the last few years."
The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) had only recently announced that the England cricket team will be touring the Asian nation for the first time in more than six years, but according to the former ICC supremo, that tour scheduled for October could be the first to suffer the consequences. Mani reminded that Australia had called off their scheduled tour last year despite the perceived threat level at the time close to the bare minimum.
"At a time when foreigners were killed in the attack, it will be difficult for Bangladesh to convince England to play the series,” he said. "Don't forget West Indies under-19 team returned home from Bangladesh due to security concerns some years back while Australia also pulled out of the ICC Youth World Cup this year."
Mani lashes out at PCB’s failure to curtail expenditure
While the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) have long maintained that the absence of home matches and the corresponding need to stage their matches in the UAE has affected their budget a lot, Mani criticised the neighbouring board for approaching the sport’s governing body for answers rather than looking within for means to curtail expenses.
"It is shameful what the PCB has done, it is very disappointing,” Mani said, referring to PCB’s request to set up a special fund for Pakistan cricket. “Instead of going to the ICC with a begging bowl the PCB should curtail and control its expenses.
“If the PCB is indeed facing a financial crisis it can take a number of administrative steps to cope with the situation. They are nearly 1000 employees in the board. Is there need for this? Expenses must be curtailed," he added.