Akram Khan wants more matches for Bangladesh
Akram Khan, the former Bangladesh captain, has kicked off his role as BCB's new cricket operations committee chairman by seeking to bring more solidarity with India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. He was given the most influential cricketing position in BCB after he was elected as director unopposed last month.
The cricket operations committee is in overall charge of the Bangladesh team as well as the Bangladesh A side, and Akram believes there ought to be more tours to the neighbouring countries. The senior side has never toured India, while their visits to Sri Lanka have substantially reduced over the last five years. The BCB's relationship with the PCB is at rock bottom after they failed to send over a side to Pakistan twice last year.
"I want to build more understanding with the neighbouring countries before we go to Australia and New Zealand," Akram told the Bangla daily Prothom Alo. "If we can arrange more A team, Academy and Under-19 matches with them regularly, we can hold more international matches in that way. They cooperated with us before we became a Test nation. So why not now? I will try hard to develop relations with them. We have to play regularly with them, and at the same time, reduce our differences."
Akram however said that he would have to arrange for more matches outside the new Future Tours Programme which isn't favourable to Bangladesh, and added that the previous board's bargaining capabilities left a lot to be desired.
"ICC sends a primary list to all countries before the FTP is formed. I know for a fact that New Zealand were initially given 60-odd Tests but they raised it to 85. But I was surprised to see that we didn't make the effort [to increase the number of Tests]," he said.
Akram, who had been a chief selector for two years and a selector for four years before that, has been credited for bringing much needed stability to the side, as he hasn't forced many changes.
"I will try to give the Bangladesh team the best possible situation to play in. I want the players to be comfortable. At most times we only look at the playing side, but I want to make sure of the events before and after the cricket."
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. He tweets here