Saturday, June 22, 2024

No WT20 matches at Cox’s Bazar

The International Cricket Council dropped Cox’s Bazar from the list of ICC World Twenty20 venues and shifted all its matches to Sylhet, another venue that is not yet ready.
Cox’s Bazar was scheduled to host the women’s leg of the tournament, which will be held in Bangladesh from March 16 to April 6, 2014. However, the ICC on Sunday said that Sylhet would host all 22 first-round matches of the women’s event as well as six matches of the men’s event, making it the busiest venue for the tournament.
There will be 60 matches altogether, with Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Dhaka hosting 17 matches and Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chittagong hosting 15 matches.
The matches at Sher-e-Bangla include the opening match and the semi-final and final matches of the men’s and women’s events.
Cox’s Bazar and Sylhet were always in doubt because of ongoing development works at the stadiums, and the ICC had recently extended the deadline for completing the job to November 30 following a request from the BCB.
The original deadline for the completion of the stadiums was September 30.
The BCB said on Sunday that the Cox’s Bazar venue is ready, but the ICC did not want to risk it with the World Twenty20 matches as the pitches remain untested.
‘Initially we had decided that there could be some matches at Cox’s Bazar, and it’s fully ready now,’ said BCB president Nazmul Hasan. ‘But the pitches have not been tested. There was no cricket in that pitch, so to start a world cup on a pitch where there has been no cricket is risky.
‘That is one major reason we decided to drop it.’
The BCB president insisted, however, that there could be some warm-up matches in the seaside town preceding the tournament.
The BCB had constructed the Cox’s Bazar venue – a temporary structure at the Saibal golf course – for an undisclosed amount from its own funds, while the government had spent Tk 4 crore 11 lakh on the Cox’s Bazar District Stadium, which was being prepared as a practice venue.
The BCB president hoped Sylhet Stadium would be ready by November 10, well ahead of the ICC deadline.
He also brushed aside the suggestion that some matches could be shifted to another country if Bangladesh could not meet the deadline.
‘Of course there is a possibility to move the matches from one stadium to another or from one country to another; everything depends on if we can finish it by the deadline,’ Nazmul said at the press conference.
‘Our main plus point is that we already have an alternate venue in Fatullah.
‘But I am going to assure that I am not going to negotiate for this with the ICC anymore.
‘I have promised them that we will finish it by 30th November, and I will assure you that we will do it. In fact, we are expecting it to finish by the tenth of November,’ said the BCB president.

-With New Age input

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