Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84
Former Bangladesh coach and celebrated sports writer Jalal Ahmed Chowdhury died aged 74 in Dhaka on Tuesday morning after suffering from respiratory problems. He had been hospitalised, for the second time this month, on September 15, and was put on ventilator three days later.
Chowdhury was one of the coaches who prepared Bangladesh's 1979 ICC Trophy team, in collaboration with Osman Khan, and later assisted head coach Gordon Greenidge at the 1997 ICC Trophy.
His cricket-playing career started in the 1960s, as an opening batter who could bowl offspin, and he was an occasional wicketkeeper too. Chowdhury played for Udity Club, Young Pegasus, Dhanmondi Club and Town Club in the Dhaka league, as well as for Bangladesh Railways in the National Cricket Championship in the 1970s.
A passion for the game kept Chowdhury away from taking up a government job despite passing Bangladesh's first civil service exam. Instead, he earned a sports diploma from Patiala in India in 1978, and returned home to coach various cricket clubs in Dhaka. He was also a BCB board member in committees like development, operations and umpiring. Players such as Mahmudullah, Tushar Imran and Gazi Ashraf Hossain spent their initial years in Dhaka under Chowdhury's tutelage.
Chowdhury's other avatar was that of a sports journalist, a career he pursued since the 1980s. He worked in New Nation and Bangladesh Times, and wrote a regular column in Prothom Alo.
The BCB's directors observed a minute's silence in Chowdhury's honour ahead of the board meeting on Tuesday.