Friday, 31 March, 2023

Sylhet demands more int’l exposures

  • Sports Correspondent
  • 28 January, 2023 12:00 AM
  • Print news
Sylhet demands more int’l exposures
The Sylhet International Cricket Stadium witnesses a jam-packed gallery during a Bangladesh Premier League 2023 match between Sylhet Strikers and Rangpur Riders on Friday. –BCB PHOTO

The Sylhet International Cricket Stadium is one of the most picturesque cricket venues in the country and in recent years, the facilities, which are compulsory to host an international match, have been increased to a great level here in Sylhet.

Although the Bangladesh Cricket Board is arranging women’s cricket, different domestic tournament games, as well as Bangladesh Premier League matches at this venue on a regular basis, the SICS is often neglected when it comes to hosting a men’s international game.

Since hosting its maiden T20I game back in 2014, only 13 men’s international matches – eight T20Is, four ODIs and one Test – were held at this venue in the last eight years.

The last time a men’s international match was held was back in 2020 when Bangladesh played against Zimbabwe but since then the venue is yet to be used for hosting a men’s international game. Bangladesh are scheduled to host England in the next month for six limited-over matches but none of the matches will be held at this venue.

The venue will host its first men’s international game in three years when Ireland will tour Bangladesh after the completion of the England series and it will host the three-match ODI series respectively on March 18, 20 and 23.

The BCB Director Shafiul Alam Chowdhury Nadel, who hails from Sylhet and is also a representative of Sylhet Division in the BCB, on Friday, expressed his optimism that the board will increase international games in Sylhet in the coming days.

The people in Sylhet came in large numbers to the SICS on Friday to witness the BPL match between Sylhet Strikers and Rangpur Riders and seeing their enthusiasm it could easily be understood that they were desperately waiting for such a competitive tournament hosted in their own city.

Sylhet’s dominating performance in this year’s BPL only increased their excitement but they had to leave the stadium with dull faces on the day as Sylhet lost to Rangpur by six wickets only to concede their second defeat in eight matches in the ongoing meet.

“It’s not about BPL. When there is any kind of cricket, the crowd comes in large numbers at this venue. This time, we will host eight matches in four days. I think we will get more tournament matches in the coming years as the facilities and the beauty of the venue have been increased to a great extent,” Shafiul told reporters in Sylhet. “We didn’t get any England tour matches. It makes us disappointed. But the Ireland series will be held here. So it makes us hopeful. We had some residence problems as well as there were some practice limitations. We have come a long way after solving those issues.

“I hope that those, who will make the fixtures and confirm the dates and venues, will be generous to us. It will fulfil the expectations of Sylhet fans on a large scale,” he added.