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Dhaka Tribune

Strange start to Games T20

Update : 23 Apr 2013, 05:03 AM

The highly anticipated debut of T20 cricket at the Bangladesh Games proved to be anticlimactic, with a small turnout, absence of major officials and mismanagement by the organisers. Those who showed up at the ground yesterday were met by an eerie silence, not the greatest start for Bangladesh’s most beloved game.

Bogra’s Shaheed Chandu Stadium, one of seven Test venues in the country, was the site of the “grand” opening.

Bogra is the city from which national skipper Mushifiqur Rahim hails, and it goes without saying that the area is filled with cricket lovers. Even local league matches draw huge crowds in Borgra, and with prominent cricketers featuring in the Games T20, one would have expected a large gathering.

In actuality, not a single Bangladesh Olympic Association official or a tournament committee member was present at the ground. There was not even a Games banner in the area.  

“I had no idea that Bangladesh Games’ cricket is taking place in Bogra,” said Azim Ahmed, a local college student. “I never miss any type of cricket in Bogra, but this time I had no idea about this. Usually there are banners and they (organisers) also announce it on mic.”

Those who came to the ground initially felt that some sort of school cricket or friendly match was going on, so casual was the vibe at the ground.

Khulna and Barisal featured in the opener and the presence of national players Imrul Kayes, Tushar Imran and Syed Rasel’s in multi-coloured clothes confused the paltry crowd. The Bangladesh Cricket Board had provided the players with coloured shirts and white trousers for the match.

Matters became more farcical during the second game between Dhaka division and Ranpur, when the Dhaka players took the field in white trousers, while Ranpur wore coloured bottoms, which they had received from their divisional cricket body.

While the assorted white trousers may have been part of some elaborate fashion statement orchestrated by the tournament committee and the Bangladesh Cricket Board it did not go down well with the batsmen. They were forced to spot the white ball amidst an ocean of white trousers. They may have been playing cricket, but they needed the eyes of a marksman to compete yesterday.   

The cricketers were seen to laugh, apparently enjoying themselves on the field, in stark contrast to what is usually seen in serious, competitive games.

“This is just a knockout tournament and we are not going to benefit from it. We don't get financially benefited from this type of tournament, where we have to face such mismanagement,” said a Dhaka player who requested anonymity. 

Rangpur captain and national discard Sohrawardi Shuvo said, “It’s a good step to include cricket in Bangladesh Games, but in future the organisers must take notice of the mismanagement.”

The carelessness of the organisers does not end there. The local media and journalists from Dhaka, who went there to cover the event, found no assistance at all. The media professionals weren’t served any beverages on the whole day, let alone food or snacks.  



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