BCB chasing its own tail

November 2, 2012

The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) has finally fallen back to their well-worn method of forming a committee to resolve the problem regarding the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL).
When all and sundry were looking forward to a bold decision from newly appointed BCB president Nazmul Hassan Papon regarding the long-pending issue, all they got was a declaration that a three-member committee headed by senior vice-president Mahbubul Anam has been formed to look after the matter during the board meeting yesterday at the game’s headquarters in Mirpur. Vice-president Ahmed Sajjadul Alam and director Ahmed Iqbal Hasan are the other members of the committee who have been asked to submit their report regarding the financial issues of the BPL within the next seven days.
The manner in which they have handled the three major issues facing cricket in the last leg of former board president AHM Mustafa Kamal’s three-year tenure — the BPL, appointment of head coach Richard Pybus and the introduction of a franchise-based longer-version competition — have once again brought BCB’s lack of professionalism to the fore.
The board had launched a money-spinning tournament like the BPL without any legal framework, engendering chaos and tarnishing the country’s cricketing image on the international stage through the nonpayment of players and officials. On another front, the way the board negotiated with Pybus not only put a premature end to the Englishman’s stint with the Bangladesh national team but also darkened the question mark over BCB’s professionalism.
And lastly, if proof be needed that nothing can be achieved in the professional world through whimsical decisions, Kamal’s ambitious but unrealistic intentions regarding the introduction of franchise-based first-class cricket and its eventual abandonment certainly provided it. Kamal’s intention was good but he wanted to start a venture without any groundwork. The unsavoury experiences with the above three issues also showcased how important the post of an efficient CEO in the board is.
It was expected that the new president would take a courageous decision in yesterday’s meeting regarding the BPL problem, especially as he had he proclaimed before taking the helm of the country’s richest sports body that ‘discipline’ would be his mission during his tenure in the board. The BPL has become a laughing stock after the way the board has set one deadline after another for the franchises to solve the payment issue, leaving many to wonder at the meaning of the word ‘deadline’. In a professional environment the obvious truth is that you have to reward assets, but it seems that professionalism holds a different meaning for the BCB. For Papon solving the BPL crisis was the first major challenge but forming yet another committee sends out all the wrong signals. The decision gave the clear indication that all three parties — BPL governing council, Game On (event management company that managed the BPL) and the franchises — are at fault regarding this issue, as there would be no point in forming a separate committee if a properly functioning one existed.
Forming a committee without dissolving the governing council, who should have taken all the responsibilities for creating the mess, is indeed a funny decision. The most important question arising from this is why a committee consisting of board members would be formed while such a body already exists. It creates a situation where board members will be passing judgements on other board members who are members of a very influential committee.
Although it is too early to make a definite comment on the new president, if morning does tell the day, then his first handling of the banana skin that is the BPL is ominous indeed.

-With The Daily Star input

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