BCB confident of securing series with Big Three
The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) is confident of securing home-and-away bilateral series against India, England and Australia for the next two years after the ICC Board meeting in Singapore. The only downside for the BCB from the meeting is the the introduction of a play-off match between the current bottom-ranked Test side and the next Intercontinental Cup champions.
"Negotiations are ongoing so it is quite early to say what we have gained in total," a BCB official, requesting anonymity, said. "Most of the negotiations are going on with the BCCI, Cricket Australia and the ECB. Otherwise, there was no problem for Bangladesh heading into the meeting as the Test status had been secured in the earlier ICC meeting in Dubai.
"Bangladesh will play according to the current FTP schedule, but with bilateral agreements in place. We will get more cricket for sure, and that will reflect in the next two years."
After returning from the last meeting, BCB president Nazmul Hassan had spoken about how he had decided to go with the majority if Bangladesh's problems were removed from the "position paper". The updated proposal does not contain the two-tier system, further enhancing Bangladesh's support for the Big Three.
Bangladesh toured Australia in 2003 for two Tests and three ODIs and played only three ODIs on their 2008 visit. The two sides last met in a Test match in 2006 in Bangladesh. With the 2015 World Cup a year away, BCB will look to fit in a tour to Australia this year.
Bangladesh's last Test series against India was in 2010 and the side have never toured India. A slot for an India series in 2016 is being discussed, but it has not yet been confirmed. Against England, Bangladesh last played a home-and-away series in 2010 but were not scheduled to tour England, or India, until 2020.
The play-off match against the next Intercontinental Cup winner is the only issue of discontent for Bangladesh. The Intercontinental Cup is likely to begin after World Cup 2015, and end by 2017. The cut-off date to decide which Full Member will feature in the play-off matches is yet to be decided.
According to the BCB official, the play-offs may be in the form of four five-day matches, which may be given first-class status. If the Test-playing nation wins, the Intercontinental Cup winner will not qualify as the eleventh Test nation. If the Associate country wins, however, the incumbent Test-playing nation will have 5% deducted from its ICC-generated revenue.
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. He tweets here