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January 19, 2006
The ICC are expected to give Bangladesh the go-ahead to play international cricket at at least three of their five new venues, after the completion of an inspection by the ICC match referee and former Sri Lanka batsman, Roshan Mahanama.
Mahanama, who visited five venues in five days in a whistlestop tour, completed his inspection with a look around the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur, near Dhaka. With Sri Lanka set to tour in March, there was every possibility that three of the five venues - the Shaheed Chandu Stadium in Bogra, Chittagong Divisional Stadium, Khulna Divisional Stadium and Osmani Stadium in Fatullah - would be used on the trip.
"I have made my notes and observations and there is a protocol to be followed," said Mahanama. "It has been hectic and I need a day or two to recover, but then I will sit down and make sure that I send a comprehensive report to the ICC which should be in turn be sent to the BCB.
"The ICC is not going to stop the BCB from holding matches in the out-stations," Mahanama added, "but there are certain regulations that have to be met. I'm sure the BCB and the government is doing everything possible and I wish Bangladesh cricket good luck."
The majority of the stadia were built in time for the Under-19 World Cup two years ago, but some of them have fallen into disrepair in the intervening years, with little or no significant cricket taking place at the grounds. And in fact, the BCB's general secretary, Mahbub Anam, hinted that Dhaka might not get a game during the tour, which is scheduled to begin on February 19.
"Holding matches in Dhaka is subject to completing work on schedule," said Anam. "If the National Sports Council (NSC) can not start work on time, then it will not be possible for us to hold matches in Dhaka.
"The construction of the Fatullah ground is not finished. Similarly with the Sher-e-Bangla Stadium, if the NSC can have the contractor finish the job as per our requirement within the 15th of February, only then Dhaka can have matches."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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