Bangladesh likely to tour Europe in July
Bangladesh could be travelling to Ireland and Scotland at the end of July to play five ODIs after Cricket Ireland secured funding from the ICC's High Performance Program as well as ICC Europe.
The full itinerary was sent to the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) on Thursday. Out of the five games, three would be played against Ireland and then an ODI each against Scotland and Netherlands. The ten-day trip to Ireland would also include a single warm-up game ahead of the three matches, and then Bangladesh would go to Scotland for four days on July 30 or 31 to play the remaining two games of the tour.
Warren Deutrom, the CEO of Cricket Ireland, said that the funding from the two sources was crucial to being able to put the tour together, though they are making up the difference using their own funds. "That [funding] will support the three hosting countries," Deutrom said. "The rest will have to be made up obviously from our own resources. We are just waiting for the green light from the BCB board now."
The BCB has welcomed the decision and are looking for a final approval from their directors. "Yes, we have put forward such a request and as far as we are concerned, we have received positive feedback. We are awaiting an approval from our board," BCB cricket operations manager, Sabbir Khan, said.
Originally, Cricket Ireland had wanted to play a four-day game against Bangladesh as well but that was not possible because there was not enough funding for it. However, they were not going to turn down an offer to play cricket against a Test nation, whatever the format. "Our budgets were sorted prior to the BCB's announcement that they wanted to tour here," Deutrom said. "Of course, [the offer] is very welcome. It is precisely what the top associates are crying out for and so it was something we could not turn down."
Last month, Ireland submitted a proposal to play 12 to 15 ODIs a year to recognise their rising standards. Under the proposals, ICC would help to identify gaps in the existing Future Tours Programme where Ireland can be accommodated for ODIs.
Edited by Kanishkaa Balachandran
Tariq Engineer is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo. Mohammad Isam is senior sports reporter at the Daily Star in Dhaka