Bangladesh news December 18, 2012

Former BCB president says constitution change 'unethical'

Former Bangladesh Cricket Board president Saber Hossain Chowdhury has termed the changes made to the board's constitution "undemocratic and unethical" and has questioned the procedures followed by the board for making the amendments.

One of the main issues under the latest amendments made by the National Sports Council, the regulatory body for all sports federations in Bangladesh, is that the BCB president will be elected by the directors instead of the councilors (members of various clubs, districts, divisions, certain institutions and former players who hold voting rights in BCB elections). The change is a complete U-turn from the March amendment in which the BCB had given voting rights to the councilors after an ICC directive had asked for lesser government interference.

Secondly, the NSC increased the number of councilorships from the top six Dhaka Premier Division Cricket League clubs from one to two to justify the amount of money spent by the clubs during the league. This would make the BCB more Dhaka-centric rather than decentralised as it would give even more power to the clubs from the capital.

The third major change was at the district and division level where anyone, even from outside the district or divisional sports association's executive committee, can now become a councilor. Previously, a district councilor needed a minimum of three years experience in the executive body of his/her district.

On December 13, the Dhaka High Court gave a stay order of three months on the amended BCB constitution, which means the board has to be run under the 2008 charter.

Chowdhury was a pivotal figure in the country's cricket between 1996 and 2001 when Bangladesh won the ICC Trophy, were given ODI and Test status and held a global event and his criticism is a sign of major unease about the conflict-ridden BCB that is now run by an adhoc committee instead of an elected body.

"It is a matter of concern to see such divisions in Bangladesh cricket," Chowdhury said. "I don't want to pick any of these sides, be it districts, clubs or players. We should be speaking on behalf of cricket.

"First of all, it is not clear what recommendations were considered when these changes to constitution were made. Secondly, we also have to know what process was used. When a higher body makes such amendments, it cannot just be made for the sake of it. The amendment has to come through a reference point. What I'm trying to understand is whether these changes were sought by the BCB or the NSC.

"From what I know of the NSC Act, it contradicts to how the amendments were made. As far as I know, the BCB adhoc committee hasn't discussed these changes."

Over the past weekend, the club representatives and those from the districts as well as the players' body have all commented on the amended constitution in a series of press briefings in Dhaka. The BCB has remained quiet about the matter. Chowdhury criticised this silence and asked the BCB to take the lead in correcting the wrongs.

"The cricket board has to take a stance, say whether they support the changes that have been made to the constitution. It is important to know their position because the BCB is the governing body.

"Everyone who will be affected by these changes are speaking about it, whether that be criticism or appreciation. But the BCB is quiet," he said.

He also pointed out the lack of clarity when it comes to following a modus operandi of running the BCB. "Ever since we wrote up the model constitution in 1998, it has been like a pendulum where we are swinging from a board of directors to an executive committee system and back to the board of directors."

Chowdhury said that the BCB should not have governmental intervention because it's a strong enough body, especially through its wealth. "The changes are establishing political influence in cricket. If the government had helped the BCB financially, it would have had a say.

"But the BCB has more money in the bank than the NSC probably, so I don't see a reason for the government to have an influence. I am not a believer of making these changes because the ICC has said so. I want political influence out because it is the right thing to do."

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on December 20, 2012, 12:58 GMT

    Me too, can't add much to what Mr. Saber Hossain Chowdury said regarding the state of present Cricket Board. But would like to mention that Mr. Saber Hossain Chowdury had the privilege of having Mr.K.Z.Islam as his predecessor.

  • Rizwan on December 19, 2012, 11:02 GMT

    Cricket will be destroyed eventually, just like hockey, kabadi or football. If you are a Bangladeshi & aware of the role politics play everywhere in this country, you'll never expect the changes Mr. Chowdhury expects or suggests.

  • sadequl on December 19, 2012, 7:43 GMT

    Ty Mr. Saber for your positive & truthful briefing. With all due respect with our present & previous governing bodies of BCB just watch out the foot steps of this great man for as an example. What ever he said is the whole truth & nothing but the truth. Even being as a follower of present government party what Saber did for our cricket no one from any other parties or anyone else will be able to deny his contribution in it by any means. If we are real countrymen we should admire what this great man said for the sake of our future cricket in Bangladesh. We do need a real gentleman like Mr.Saber as a cricket councilor who can take Bangladesh cricket to the top, to make us proud & which he is the most deserving candidate for it too, for all the good work he has done for our cricket. If we can't gave the proper respect of such fellowship of our cricket then only god knows whom else we can do it for then. Please Mr.Saber stay on to the right path & we fans are here with you as always.

  • Dummy4 on December 19, 2012, 7:26 GMT

    It is all about money game...Dhaka premier clubs don't produce or nurture new players but they want the super power in BCB,after taking the duty as a board president,Mr. Papon trying to give these powers to the Dhaka clubs , ignoring the district level administration who mainly produce new talent.BCB should remember Shakib,Mashrafi,Tamim didn't came from these Dhaka clubs.

  • Dummy4 on December 19, 2012, 6:04 GMT

    very unfair the present bcb bodies. they should decentralize asap. why put politics in cricket? well said sc

  • Shahid on December 18, 2012, 19:58 GMT

    I can't stress more what SC has said. All I have to say to the present management of BCB-- 1. Acknowledging mistake is sign of good leadership. There is no scope of being defensive,egoistic or dogmatic. 2. Let's make BCB as an exemplary institute in Bangladesh -- so that not only other sports bodies are motivated to follow but let it impact all institutions in Bangladesh across the board. 3. Since Bangladesh Cricket has biggest presence in word arena of sports -- put a proven and sustainable process in place, follow the procedures with conviction and embrace change and people from the other side of the isle.

  • Dummy4 on December 18, 2012, 17:27 GMT

    BCB goes one step forward then 2 step backward...there is only fighting for clear future plan for competitive first class structure or decentralization of cricket from Dhaka

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