Change in fixture irks Bangladesh


The Asian Cricket Council on Wednesday left Bangladesh fuming after it dramatically changed the fixture of ongoing Asia Cup in United Arab Emirates.
Under the revised the schedule, Bangladesh now have to play back-to-back matches in Abu Dhabi and Dubai in consecutive days.
The Tigers will face Afghanistan in Abu Dhabi today and then will travel 140km for Dubai to face India next day.
According to previous schedule, the winners between Bangladesh and Afghanistan had an extra incentive of playing their first Super Four match in Abu Dhabi next day, instead of travelling to Dubai.
But the ACC changed the rule, giving Bangladesh the status of B-2 before they took the field Afghanistan match, which left the Tigers completely off-guard.
Afghanistan, who had been trailing Bangladesh by run-rate, were given B-1 status.
The move was apparently taken to appease India, who asked to play their all games in Dubai. The ACC obliged to their request, giving the side A-1 status, relegating Pakistan as A-2.
‘I don’t know what type of rule it is. It’s like a gully tournament,’ a fuming Bangladesh team manager Khaled Mahmud told New Age over phone from Dubai.
‘We were informed about the decision only in the morning today [Wednesday]. Definitely we are not happy with this,’ said Mahmud.
Mahmud, however, added that they were yet to lodge any formal protest against the decision.
Mahmud revealed that at least one director of the Bangladesh Cricket Board were involved in the process.
‘Our one director [Enayet Hossain] is the member of tournament technical committee. I don’t know how he agreed to this change. Maybe our CEO [chief executive officer Nizamuddin Chowdhury] can tell it better,’ he said.
Bangladesh skipper Mashrafee bin Murtaza was also clearly incensed by the ACC decision.
‘It is very disappointing,’ Mashrafee told reporters in Dubai. ‘Basically what has happened is that we were made the second team in Group B even before we played the last game.
‘We came here with a plan. We would play Sri Lanka first and if we won and played well we would be group champions and play the runners-up of Group A.
‘But this morning we heard that we are already Group B runners-up regardless of whether we win or lose tomorrow [today]. So of course it is disappointing.
‘It is an international match where we are representing our nation, so of course it’s important. But whether you are talking about group stage matches or Super Four matches, there are certain rules within which they operate. We are getting away from the rules, so it’s disappointing,’ he added.
Bangladesh defeated Sri Lanka by 137 runs in the first match of Group B while Afghanistan knocked the Islanders out of the competition defeating them by 91 runs.