Bangladesh news September 3, 2013

BCB elections by first week of October - Hassan

BCB president Nazmul Hassan has said the board's elections, which have been much delayed, will be completed by the first week of October at the latest. It has been 39 days since the Supreme Court of Bangladesh ruled in favour of holding the board elections on the basis of its amended constitution. Hassan had originally vowed to hold elections within a month of that court order.

However, even the process of sending out letters to district commissioners across the country so that they can select a councillor to represent their respective districts in the elections is yet to be carried out.

After the councillors' names are sent to BCB, the list will be redirected to the National Sports Council (NSC), the sports regulatory body in Bangladesh who will be responsible for the elections. The NSC will then set up an election commission and commissioners, and schedule a date, which could take up to four weeks.

"We will send letters to the district commissions in the next seven to eight days," Hassan said. "We have specified a date yet, but we will sit after tomorrow [Tuesday] to discuss the elections. After we get the response from the district commissioners, we will forward it to NSC, but we are not sure how long it will take for this [to be completed].

"We really hoped to hold the elections this month. If not, then within the first week of October. It will surely take place before Eid-ul-Adha [mid-October] but we have to give the authorities enough time to prepare themselves."

Hassan cited several ongoing issues which, he said, have impeded work on the elections. "There are legal issues that we have to contend with and solve. We don't want anyone to raise an issue and take the constitution to the courts again.

"My main objective is to see the elections take place. The ICC venue inspection was a major issue and, at the same time, there was the Dhaka Premier Division Cricket League to deal with."

Former BCB president Saber Hossain Chowdhury, who had previously announced his desire to contest in the elections, questioned the delay in sending letters to the clubs and the district commissioners.

"As per the Supreme Court's verdict the elections should take place as soon as possible, yet the most basic steps remain incomplete," Chowdhury said. In a TV interview recently, Chowdhury even challenged the incumbent BCB president to face him in a one-on-one debate.

Hassan said he agreed to take up the challenge: "I met Saber Hossain Chowdhury at the airport a few days ago, and told him that I am willing to sit with him anytime, anywhere. But journalists will have to be present. I told him we could do a press conference, or we could go if a TV channel invites us. But it has to be a recorded conversation. I will answer all questions about the board and constitution."

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. He tweets here