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November 10, 2004
Clive Lloyd, the former West Indies captain-turned-ICC match referee, has sounded a positive note about the future of Bangladeshi cricket, after inspecting four new venues that are awaiting international status.
Lloyd, 60, went to see Bogra District Stadium in Rajshahi, Fatullah Cricket Stadium in Narayanganj, near Dhaka, Chittagong Divisional Stadium and Khulna Divisional Stadium, and will submit a report to the ICC in the next few days.
"It was obvious they all looked impressive. But like all places, some adjustments will have to be made," Lloyd said in a press conference in Dhaka. "I'm impressed with the amount of work done since my last visit a few years ago. Things are improving and I hope it continues to improve. I'm sure the ICC will do its utmost to make sure cricket in Bangladesh takes a step forward."
But he refused to speculate on when the stadiums will be awarded matches by the ICC: "If the venues are first passed by the ICC then they will have to look at their calendar. They just can't give you a one-day game or a Test. It all depends on whether a venue can support it as well."
The way the pitches play, however, had not been scrutinised by Lloyd. "It is difficult to actually say which wickets were good or bad since I did not get the chance to see any matches played there. The ICC might also want see certain things built or games played at the venue because a venue cannot be passed without an acceptable pitch to play on.
Lloyd also indicated that being involved with Pakistan and Indian domestic cricket would be "another way of cranking up Bangladesh's [domestic] cricket. Bangladesh have a huge cricket-loving public that backs their team even though they are not doing extremely well at the moment. But once the [national] team performs in both Test and one-day arenas then it augurs well."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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