Just Academic

Saturday, August 18, 2007

The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) won many hearts when it signed a benchmark sponsorship deal with Grameenphone for building a National Cricket Academy (NCA).

Five months on, but unfortunately nothing has transpired in this very important task till today in terms of translating the dream into reality.

It was told by the immediate past office bearers of the board after signing a five-year deal with the cellular phone company on March 13 that their first target would be to build a two-storied building for the academy with all the necessary facilities in Mirpur, the home of Bangladesh cricket.

And the consultant agency, Bashat, had mentioned that they would need nine months to build the structure after the completion of the tender processes.

Forget any tender for the last five months the reality is that the board is still delving into an acceptable design.

Fingers however have been pointed towards the highly paid BCB's chief executive officer Mahmudur Rahman for the delay for his failure to coordinate everything for finishing the work as early as possible.

But like many other issues Rahman portrayed his helplessness.

He defended the delay by saying that they received the revised drawing and estimated budget from the consultant company just a few days back.

"We asked the consultant agency to revise the drawing and costing because we found their initial proposal too high and they gave it to me only ten days back. This is the main reason behind the unfortunate delay and you know during that time the board also went through a transition period," defended Rahman.

Money is however not at all a problem for the board when the sponsor company has agreed to give US dollars 1.5 lakh per year, which means the board would receive US dollar 7.5 lakh (about 5.25 crore Taka) in five years. And the fact is that they will need around Tk 2.5 crore to prepare the house according to the consultant agency.

The new chief of the game development committee Lt Col M Abdul Latif Khan (retd), however, was not ready to accept any excuse rather he got surprised by the holdup of a very important project.

"We desperately need the full-fledged academy but the most unfortunate thing is that nobody has taken the initiatives for the last five months to start the work. What I found is that nobody cared about the issue despite the company offering us handsome money," said an aggrieved Latif.

"Our board president (Chief of General Staff Maj Gen Sina Ibn Jamali) already talked with the NSC president (Army Chief Gen. Moeen U Ahmed) about the leasing of the Mirpur stadium for a certain period of time and hopefully it will be finalised within a short period of time. We will definitely start work for the academy by mid-September," assured the retired army man.

"I read all the papers about the academy and what I found that nobody has taken the initiatives to start the work. There is no scope to make any excuse for this delay. I talked with my president because it's a very important issue for us," he said.

Right at the moment the academy is operating from a rented house and the board are spending near about Tk 5 lakh per month for all the activities.

However the problem is that it can hardly fulfill the demand.

It was learnt that recently the board had to cancel an under-14 camp due to unavailability of a place for the player's accommodation and it's just one example of how desperate the need for a permanent establishment of the academy is.