World T20 2014 March 26, 2014

The murky waters of flag waving

Vithushan Ehantharajah
An irreverent look in and around the World T20 in Bangladesh. If you are looking for news, you have got lost in the right place.

Flag fury
Local supporters have been threatened with bans if they are caught carrying the flags of other teams competing in the World T20 competition. The BCB have waded in, saying they "noticed" Bangladeshis flying other flags and "flouting the country's flag rules".

The ruling has been there for a while, but came to the fore during the recent Asia Cup, when locals were seen waving Pakistani flags. This particular incident caused a great deal of outrage given the history between the two nations, who were at war in 1971, up to which point Bangladesh was part of Pakistan. The conflict claimed a reported three million lives from the Bangladeshi side alone.

Still, it didn't stop Javed Miandad claiming that the ban violates the spirit of the game while others claimed it to be an attack on Pakistan.

It's obviously not a great rule and something that needs to be addressed, but let's not pretend it's anything other than a law put into effect in 1972, by a newly-formed country in a state of destruction and reconstruction.

As it happens, today marks Bangladesh's 44th Independence Day celebration. Speaking of which…

Sing when you're singing
To mark Independence Day today, the ministry of culture went about setting a world record for the largest number of people to sing a country's anthem simultaneously. The full Bangladesh team took part in the event this morning at 11am sharp in the Mirpur stadium. Sadly, they were unable to be counted towards the world record as they were not within the permitted radius.

Thankfully, their numbers weren't needed as 254,861 people gathered at the National Parade Ground to belt out the anthem and more than double the previous Guinness World Record. The photos look spectacular.

Highway to the Sports Zone
Good news - Cox's Bazar Sports Zone, once presented as a venue for World Twenty20, has finally been completed and is ready for use! OK, a bit of background.

The area itself, located in the south-eastern corner of Bangladesh, has been subject to a development boom that has seen it arise as the key tourist jaunt in the country. But because of a mixture of illegally built shops and environmental issues, the boom ceased and Cox's Bazar has been moving at a snail's pace.

Plans that the venue would host a handful of World T20 matches, as well as some of the women's competition, were dropped last December because of the slow development of the stadium.

From today till March 29, Cox's Bazar will host Anjan's University Beach Cricket 2014 competition. Eight universities will compete for the chance to "Beat The Beach" - their slogan, not ours - with three different sponsors together contributing an eight lakh budget.

It's not quite World Twenty20. But it will have to do.

Dew Decimation System
It seems even the ICC have lost their rag with dew, feeling that now captains are simply electing to bowl first to avoid having to work with a damp ball.

ICC's own pitches consultant Andy Atkinson is said to have been in talks with the Delhi and District Cricket Association and their curator Venkat Sundaram to discuss the use of a chemical agent to combat dew. This anti-dew agent has been used in India since the first edition of the IPL in 2008 and DDCA president Sneh Bansal has confirmed to the Times of India that they are in discussions to send the chemical across to Bangladesh.

Ticket confusion
Many Bangladesh fans could have done without watching their capitulation against the West Indies yesterday. To be fair to the BCB, they did their best to help them out.

The majority of tickets sold actually had the incorrect time on them, stating a 3.30pm instead of a 7.30pm start. ESPNcricinfo's own Mohammad Isam was submerged with queries about the correct start, while the country's biggest newspaper also had to wade in and provide clarification.

Those who still rocked up four hours early could always pass the time listening to five-and-a-half renditions of the Sri Lankan national anthem.