The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) is set to host two T20Is between an Asia XI and a World XI in March next year. The matches will be part of the country’s extensive national celebrations to commemorate the birth centenary of its founding father Sheikh Mujibur Rahman (1920-1975). Mujibur Rahman, the first president and second prime minister of Bangladesh who was gunned down in August 1975 along with other members of the family, is the father of the country’s current prime minister, Sheikh Hasina.
According to a report in ESPNcricinfo, BCB president Nazmul Hassan said they were looking forward to having the “best current players” to represent both the sides and hoped that many of the players they are eyeing will be available since the time will be dry as far as the international schedule is concerned. Only two teams are scheduled to play in international cricket at that time.
Mujibur Rahman was born on March 17, 1920, and Bangladesh celebrates his birth anniversary every year by observing a national holiday. Since it is his centenary birth anniversary next year, the government is making big plans for celebrations that will also include cricket matches.
‘Games will be serious’
“There will be a matter of availability if they [the players] have international duties. I think only two teams will be busy at the time, but they won’t be playing T20s, so we might get their T20 players. We are looking for the best players among the current lot, and because the games will have international status, everyone will be serious about it,” Hassan was quoted as saying.
The top official also said that during a meeting of the International Cricket Council last week, the members had unanimously allowed the two T20Is to have international status. Though the rules only allow such matches to get an international status if it involves a full member nation participating in the game.
“They made a special dispensation for Bangladesh, but they said it is only a one-off that such a match will get international status,” the BCB president added. The matches will be held between March 18 and 21 at Mirpur’s Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium.
Cricket boards across the world have organised such events to commemorate special occasions in the past. The Cricket Association Bengal had organised the Hero Cup featuring five countries in November 1993 to mark its diamond jubilee. In 1994-95, a four-nation cricket tournament was organised by New Zealand to celebrate the centenary of the cricketing establishment.
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