Bangladesh news December 24, 2013

BCB looks for guarantee over security issues

Nazmul Hassan, the BCB president, will meet the major political leaders of Bangladesh to get assurances that cricket will remain uninterrupted in the country, in a bid to reassure Sri Lanka Cricket, the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) and the ICC over security concerns.

The BCB is keen to have meetings in January and get the guarantees before the ACC and the ICC hold crucial talks early in the month.

Bangladesh are scheduled to host Sri Lanka from January 27, the Asia Cup from February, and the ICC World Twenty20 from March 16.

Bangladesh is currently going through a wave of political violence with the two major political parties, the Awami League and the Bangladesh Nationalist Party, locked in battle over the January 5 elections.

Hassan will meet Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, who is also head of the Awami League, as well as Begum Khaleda Zia, the leader of BNP. This is an unprecedented move, but it makes sense given the line-up of cricket series and tournaments to be held over the next four months in the country.

The violence had earlier prompted the West Indies Under-19 team to abandon their tour after one match earlier this month, and the pull-out has understandably raised concern over security in the country.

"Our board president will meet the leaders for the upcoming cricket tournaments," BCB's acting CEO Nizamuddin Chowdhury said. "We are trying to hold the meetings as quickly as possible. There are two very important meetings of the ACC and ICC in January and we hope to receive a positive reply for those meetings."

"We are hoping to receive some kind of formal declaration from the political parties before that as it would help us too clear our stance in front of them during the meeting."

As Sri Lanka are scheduled to be the first visitors in 2014, the BCB will provide the team with extra security, and take tighter measures. "The arrangements will be provided according to the demands. The security agency will take steps according to the risk assessment," Chowdhury said. "We had assured the visiting side that we would be providing security of the highest order after receiving the commitment from the government. We are constantly in touch with the ICC regarding our activities and the security department is working on the security plan."

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