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‘We fail to recognise contributions of the girls’

  • Sports Correspondent
  • 2 October, 2022 12:00 AM
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‘We fail to recognise contributions of the girls’
Players of Bangladesh women’s national cricket team celebrate after winning the inaugural match of the Women’s Asia Cup against Thailand at the Sylhet International Cricket Stadium Academy Ground in Sylhet on Saturday. – BCB PHOTO

The Bangladesh Cricket Board President Nazmul Hassan Papon on Saturday admitted that their biggest failure is not recognising the contribution of women cricketers.

“The girls are playing good cricket for a long time and it is our failure that we aren’t recognizing them and paying attention to them,” Nazmul told reporters in Sylhet.

The Tigresses, the defending Asia Cup champions, began their title defence campaign on a brilliant note when they defeated Thailand by nine wickets in the tournament opener in Sylhet on Saturday.

Four years back, the BCB along with top government officials promised to back the women cricketers following their arrival from Malaysia after clinching the Asia Cup trophy by beating six-time champions India in the final.

At that time, State Minister for Youth and Sports Biren Sikder (now former) declared that they had the intention of opening a national cricket academy dedicated to the women’s team during a reception programme for the women’s team.

Sikder added that the Sports Ministry with its own fund would develop a cricket academy dedicated to women cricketers while the BCB would run the academy. However, nothing materialized since the announcement in 2018.

Although the cricket board raised the salaries of the women cricketers, neither there is any dedicated ‘A’ team to make sure that there is a strong pipeline while only in the recent past, the BCB formed an Under-19 team after they were given rights to host the inaugural edition of the ICC Under-19 Women’s World Cup in 2021.

However, later the tournament was shifted to South Africa in the wake of coronavirus and it will now be held in January next year.

Despite fighting against all the odds, the women’s team recently clinched their third consecutive ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Qualifier title and had been performing consistently with all the limited facilities they were receiving.

“If we see world rankings, we are probably at the ninth position (in T20Is) and Ireland, Scotland, Thailand and Zimbabwe are ranked below (than us). They are all quite close as far as the strengths are concerned.

 “They (the Tigresses) became champions in the World T20 Qualifier and will play in the World Cup after getting over the qualifier hurdle. They were champions in Asia Cup and unbeaten champions in the SA games. They are playing well consistently and the biggest thing is that we have been playing the same team (women) for the last four years and eight or nine cricketers are fixed there,” said Nazmul.

Meanwhile, Nazmul said that they are not putting any pressure on their cricketers despite them playing as defending champions and urged everyone to understand that it will be hard for them to overcome India, one of the top cricketing giants in women’s cricket.

“Our first target is to play in the semifinal and later in the final. I think we have a chance of playing in the final,” said Nazmul.

“Bangladesh are a good team but India improved a lot and if you see, the Indian women’s team is very strong. Australia, New Zealand and England are strong teams but India are beating them regularly. So taking that into consideration, certainly, they are far ahead,” he added.