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Hassan has vowed to get the stadiums completed on time
The International Cricket Council (ICC) have announced that the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) have until August to get their World Twenty20 venues up to scratch before they intervene and consider moving the tournament to another destination.
An ICC consultant visited the venues in Mirpur, Chittagong, Sylhet and Cox’s Bazar, but was unsatisfied with the progress of the latter two stadiums.
The ICC’s International Development (IDI) board have also announced that they will check all four venues again in August, upon where a final decision will be made on whether to move the tournament to another country or not.
BCB president Nazmul Hassan has already admitted that he doubts about whether both stadiums in Sylhet and Cox’s Bazar will be finished in time for the World Twenty20.
His concerns are now being shared by the ICC.
“The IDI board reviewed an inspection report by the ICC venue consultant … and expressed its concern regarding the progress of construction and improvements to playing facilities in Cox’s Bazar and Sylhet,” an ICC statement said. “The board noted that a further inspection and report is scheduled for August after which a final decision will be taken.”
According to the ICC rules, the venues must be completed six months ahead of the tournament, including the teams’ accommodation requirements.
The ICC inspection in June found that the construction process in Sylhet and Cox’s Bazar were way behind schedule and there were also concerns about the limited lodging options in Dhaka.
During the first inspection, the ICC team revealed that construction at the Cox’s Bazar site had not even begun yet, while the Sylhet ground’s pavilion, which was developed last year, had not started either.
In their report, the ICC team noted that the stadiums would not be completed by December, but the BCB have vowed to prove them wrong.
“There is absolutely no doubt the work would be completed in due time,” Hassan said. “The government had started work late in Sylhet stadium but now it is in full swing. I have seen the work plan and I am convinced that it would be finished,” he said. “As for Cox’s Bazar, the major issue was the land. Now that we have land we are confident we will meet all the requirements.
“We already have two other venues. For Sylhet we have Fatullah, a full-fledged and world-class stadium which has hosted international matches already. As for Cox’s Bazar, we can host the women’s matches in BKSP where we have prepared two grounds according to ICC guidelines.”
It was also revealed that the ICC are considering letting Sri Lanka or South Africa host the tournament if Bangladesh fail to complete their stadiums on time.
However, former BCB president and current ICC vice-president Mustafa Kamal stated that there have been no discussions to move the tournament to another country just yet.
“We have just delivered 2011 World Cup successfully,” Kamal said. “This is not a bigger event compared to that. We had prepared five grounds for the World Cup. We also had the 2014 World Twenty20. In 2016 we have the Under-19 World Cup followed by the World Cup Qualifiers in 2018. We are going to host so many events because we have the infrastructure.”
Doubts about the lack of accommodation for all the teams surfaced after the Bangladesh government announced plans to demolish the Sheraton hotel and rebuild it, but, according to Hassan, the government have postponed their plans till after the World Twenty20.
“We have the Sheraton, which was supposed to be renovated,” Hassan said. “The prime minister has assured us that the hotel would be available during the tournament, so we have an additional 200 rooms. That solves the lodging problem.”