Bangladesh are currently ranking at number nine in Test © AFP
Bangladesh are currently ranking at number nine in Test © AFP

The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) directors will meet on Sunday to decide on two-tier system to divide Test cricket. This proposal is set to be discussed at ICC’s annual conference in Edinburgh later this month. Bangladesh are ranking No.9 in Test and will most likely fall in second tier if the system is adopted in 2019 according to ICC’s proposal. BCB will try and gauge whether the ICC will have a role in forming the FTP under the two-tier system, or whether scheduling will be left to bilateral negotiations as it is at present. The BCB feels that Bangladesh could be vulnerable to lack of Tests in the second tier under the current system of scheduling, and would like a guaranteed number of matches – against top-tier teams too – to ensure they have a chance of promotion. ALSO READ: BAN players indifferent towards safety regulations

However, BCB feel that not all will be in support of two-tier system to be implemented according to those representing the board. BCB director Ahmed Sajjadul Alam spoke to and he said, “The pertinent question that has to be asked to the BCB president and CEO is whether the BCB raised any proposals, amendments or suggestions when Shashank Manohar had asked all members to give views on the FTP.” Alam also felt the public interest in Bangladesh cricket along with broadcaster’s interest would dwindle if ICC adopted two-tier system, “The future of international cricket for Bangladesh is going to be dreadful. Already we now have to qualify for ICC events like the 50-over World Cup and World T20. If we don’t qualify for these two ICC events, and at the same time remain a second-tier [Test] side, interest among the public, media, broadcasters and sponsors will be greatly reduced.”

He further added, “We are facing a huge loss, and we are doing it without even offering a fight. Soon world cricket will go back by several decades to the time when the Imperial Cricket Conference used to run the show, with just six or seven teams playing cricket and teams like Bangladesh waiting in the sidelines for handouts.”

Tanjil Chowdhury, another BCB director who opposed the Big Three’s proposal two years ago, said the board should be focused on ensuring more matches rather than gaining more money. “I think the BCB will take a decision that will best serve Bangladesh cricket. Two years ago when the Big Three came up with the position paper, the BCB accepted it because they calculated that they would get greater revenue stream. Why does the BCB need more money? I think they have more than enough. I would want to get as many matches as possible.” ALSO READ: Mustafizur Rahman: When Bangladesh added ‘Fizz’ to their bowling line-up

Chowdhury is in opposition of twi-tier system as that would increase the no of teams, “I am against the two-tier system that is being proposed. I think it will pull cricket development backwards. Inclusiveness doesn’t work at the games’ premium level, which is Test cricket.”

This system was first bought in place in January 2014 as part of the Big Three’s proposals – that teams ranked ninth and tenth in Tests would play the Intercontinental Cup. That would have left little room for Bangladesh to play any more Tests against the top-eight countries. Bangladesh Test skipper Mushfiqur Rahim is the only player who is against the two-tier system.