The winter season in Bangladesh has always been very festive. It is further made charming by various cultural activities. During the wintertide, life in Bangladesh is very rhythmic, and one can sense the gala mood in the environment. But this year, the season has been somewhat dismal! The charming rhythm is missing among the people of Bangladesh. People are gripped with despondency.
The reason behind this despondency is the prevailing political deadlock which started last year and has still remained unsolved. Time and again this lugubrious situation has disturbed the Bangladeshis’ normal pattern. Two major political parties in Bangladesh are too rigid in their respective views regarding the caretaker government issue and thus their big egos led to massive unrest last year, to trigger a fear factor among the citizens, from which they are still suffering. The holding of the 10th national elections without the main opposition in January 5, 2014, will make the crisis situation worse in the upcoming days.
Day-to-day strikes, torching of vehicles, clashes between the mob and the police department, etc. is not a pleasant picture for a Bangladeshi and for the rest of the world. Such a complex situation is affecting the business and trade, education, banking sector and so on, in the country. And obviously, Bangladesh cricket is facing the heat as well.
Bangladesh is supposed to host two major cricket tournaments this year – The Asia Cup and World Twenty20. Last year, the World Twenty20 had faced enough nervy moments with the country at risk of losing the credibility for hosting the tournament. The ICC was not satisfied about the venues for the World Twenty20, as the construction work of the proposed stadiums was found incomplete.
Even though the BCB managed to convince the ICC inspection team, the risks didn’t ebb away as the continuing political turmoil has made the situation muggier than ever. Bangladesh’s chances of hosting two major tournaments was dented, when the touring West Indies U-19 team packed their baggage in the middle of the tour, citing security reasons as a cocktail blasted in front of their hotel last year.
Negative voices rose to deny Bangladesh from hosting the Asia Cup and World Twenty20 and amongst those negative voices, Pakistan’s voice was heard louder. It’s not a surprise that Pakistan would raise its voice against Bangladesh, as not so long ago Bangladesh too stepped back from touring Pakistan citing security reasons. Even though at the start, the then BCB chief did ensure PCB that they would tour Pakistan, he twisted his attitude later and thus a very good relationship with Pakistan soared.
In my opinion, the board should have never raised the hopes of a tour taking place. How could you dare to ensure the possibilities of such a sensitive tour? And then how could you change your stance so easily? Such attitude is always unwelcome. However, It has come as a relief for Bangladesh now, with Pakistan agreeing to tour the country keeping aside the bitter feelings between the sides.
Pakistan’s main headache is regarding the security and keeping that issue in mind, the BCB have taken a very strong step in ensuring the highest level of security not only for Pakistan but for each and every team which will participate during the Asia Cup and the World Twenty20. Already, a two-member security team from Sri Lanka has visited the venues for the series against Bangladesh and expressed their satisfaction regarding the security arrangement by the BCB.
One must not forget New Zealand’s tour of Bangladesh last year. Even when Bangladesh’s political environment was volatile, but still the tour ended smoothly without any uneventful occurrence.
Thankfully, the venue for the Asia Cup has stayed back in Bangladesh. Thankfully, Pakistan too are participating. But before the Asia Cup or the World Twenty20, Bangladesh’s biggest challenge is hosting the series against Sri Lanka in the months of Jan-Feb. The security arrangement is satisfactory, but you never know when ugliness may show up! The politicians must lessen their political volatility and tricky-games. Cricket is the heart and soul of Bangladesh and the major catalyst behind the national unity. One unwanted incident is enough to destroy everything. It will leave the common Bangladeshis doleful and disquieted.
The encouraging part is that the leader of the opposition Begum Khaleda Zia has ensured her full-support regarding these two events. A positive gesture indeed, but this should not just be a word. Let sense and sensibility prevail among our politicians.