BCB’s high demand hits lowest-level cricket hard

Exorbitant registration fees and some tough conditions set by the Bangladesh Cricket Board have drastically reduced interest in third division qualifying league, the lowest ranked domestic competition. The BCB asked Cricket Committee of Dhaka Metropolis to fix Tk 5 lakh as entry fee for the competition, five times higher than that of previous season, leaving many aspirants to shelve their desire.
As a consequence, only two teams registered for the 2014-15 season within the schedule, which ended on April 30.
Due to the lack of interest, the CCDM has to cancel this season’s third division qualifying league and the two entrants – the Dhaka Cricket Academy and the Eximo Cricketers – were given promotion to the third division league without making to play.
CCDM member secretary Rakib Haider said that they had just executed the decision made by BCB.
‘We did not increase the fee. We were asked to fix this amount for this season and had no other option but to follow it,’ said Rakib.
‘As it stands there will be no third division qualifying this season and the two registered teams will advance to next year’s third division cricket league,’ said Rakib.
During the previous season, 14 teams took part in the competition regarded to provide the first taste of competitive cricket to the aspirant cricketers coming from different backgrounds.
The commercially-run local cricket academies were hit hard by the decision as the competition was the only platform for their pupils to taste themselves at the competitive level.
Unlike the previous seasons, the BCB also set few conditions, which includes participating teams must not be named after any commercial organsiation, they must have a constitution, must be registered by relevant government authorities and owns a permanent address.
Coaches of several Dhaka based cricket academies regretted the move and believed that it would only hamper the growth of country’s cricket and put their own survival at stake as well.
When the BCB provides incentives for top-level clubs, the reason to demand so much money from an entry-level team is unclear to many coaches at the grass-root level.
Yousuf Kabir, coach of Altaf Cricket Foundation, took a swipe at BCB stating that it was clearly an act to destroy the cricket at grass-root level.
‘How can we pay this amount?’ asked Kabir. It is not clear to us why BCB need so much money from the teams. But one thing is clear it will surely bring the downfall of our country’s cricket,’ said Kabir.
‘Every year several cricketers from my academy took part in the tournament but now with the present scenario it all looks to be far from reality,’ he said.
Confident Cricket Academy coach Nehaluddin pointed out that in the long run it will have an impact on running the cricket academies.
‘If my players cannot play in these kinds of competitions how can they keep their motivations,’ said Nehal.
‘Eventually they will end up leaving the sport without properly trying their luck at any form of competition,’ he said.

-With New Age input

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