New Future Tours Programme March 25, 2006

Bangladesh safe for at least six years

AFP

The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) secretary, Mahbub Anam, has said the country are not in danger of losing their Test status for at least six years despite their poor record.

Anam said: "We will play more than 41 Tests and between 104 and 140 one-dayers in the next six years under the new Future Tour Programme (FTP) of the ICC."

Bangladesh have won just one of their 34 matches since gaining Test status in 2000, their lone victory coming against a depleted Zimbabwean side at home last year.

The 10 Test-playing nations finalised the FTP at an ICC meeting in Dubai earlier this week. The programme, under which each Test-playing nation tours and hosts other nations in a six-year cycle, will start from May this year.

Anam said that Bangladesh have also been allowed to host at least three triangular one-day tournaments involving India during this period, adding the country was expecting a windfall from television rights. "We want to invite bids for television rights very soon and this time we expect to earn several times more than what we earned earlier."

The ESPN-STAR company currently owns the rights to telecast Bangladesh matches, but its $11.5m contract for five years expires later this year. Bangladesh host Australia for two Tests and three one-dayers next month.

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