While almost all of the private cricket academies in Dhaka have stopped cricketing activities after the Covid-19 outbreak leaving coaches and support staff struggling financially, the third-division club Dhanmondi Cricket Academy has taken an initiative to help people associated with them.
Considering the situation, the academy decided to form a COVID-19 fund to deliver remuneration of coaches on a regular basis. To do so, they asked the parents of current students, former students and club members to contribute.
“We have been trying to establish a good cricket club for 20-22 years. There are six support staff including a head coach, two assistant coaches, an office manager and two groundsmen, who have also been working hard for the club,” Abu Mohammad Sabur, the president of Dhanmondi Cricket Academy told UNB on Tuesday.
“Saif Hassan, one of our students, is now in the national team. More students of our club are part of several age-level teams of Bangladesh Cricket Board. We are happy for our students, and we believe many more will succeed. So the intention of making it a good cricket club prompted us to help the people during this crisis. We can’t leave those who teach our children to become good cricketers struggling. We don’t have any intention to make it a profitable company. In fact, it’s a non-profit organisation. We would like to keep helping them till the situation gets better,” he added.
Sabur said they spent about Tk 6-7 lakhs to renovate the club and practising facilities. About 75 students take the initiation of the game of cricket at the Dhanmondi Cricket Academy.
“I have close contact with many coaches who work for private cricket academies in Dhaka. Most of them are struggling due to the pandemic because of their academies are not paying them now. In contrast, the Dhanmondi Cricket Academy has been paying salaries of all staff despite the pandemic. The academy authorities told us that they will keep doing this until the pandemic ends,” Sadiquzzaman Pintu, the head coach of Dhanmondi Cricket Academy, told UNB.
“More than 70 cricketers learn cricket at this academy. Many of them play in age-level cricket under Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB), and many of them play in the third divisional league as well. All facilities of the academy are free for the cricketers who play in the age-level or at the third divisional league. I don’t know if any academy in Dhaka does the same for their students,” Sadiquzzaman added.
Legendary West Indies fast bowler Michael Holding has said the society has not gotten over the problem of racism yet and it’s important to acknowledge that black lives matter in the current climate.
He made these comments in a documentary which was aired in the lead up to the first Test between England and West Indies in Southampton recently, reports India Today.
In the documentary for Sky Cricket, Holding and former England cricketer Ebony Rainford-Brent discussed racism in the sport and the Black Lives Matter movement.
“Education is important unless we want to continue the lives we are living. When I say education, I mean going back in history. This thing stems from a long time ago, hundreds of years ago. The dehumanisation of the black race if where it started,” Holding said.
"Even if it's a baby step at a time. Even a snail's pace. But I'm hoping it will continue in the right direction. Even at a snail's pace, I don't care"— SkyNews (@SkyNews) July 9, 2020
Michael Holding fights back tears as he recalls the prejudice faced by his parents.https://t.co/iOm40vn1kt pic.twitter.com/BhYXRbtyd1
The legendary cricketer also said that “People will tell you, 'that's a long time ago. Get over it'. No, we can't get over it like that. And society has not gotten over that.”
“If you don't educate people, they'll keep growing up in that sort of society and you'll not get meaningful change,” he said.
Speaking in the documentary, Rainford-Brent, said the society needs to understand that racism is not a Black person’s problem alone.
“It’s everyone's problem. We’ve got to have a society that's representative. Honest conversations, opportunities,” the former cricketer, who was the first Black player in the England women’s team, he said.
It's all about equality
Holding was critical of the voices against the Black Lives Movement, saying Black people understand all lives matter but vice-versa is not true.
“Everyone is now coming alive and seeing the difference in the treatment of people. We’re all humans and I hope everyone understands this Black Lives Movement is not trying to get Black people above white people or above anyone else,” said Holding.
“It's all about equality. When you tell somebody that 'Black Lives Matter' and they tell you white lives matter or all lives matter,” he added.
Holding also stated that “We Black people know white lives matter. I don't think you know that Black lives matter. So don't shout back at us saying, all Lives Matter.”
“It's obvious. The evidence is clearly there that white lives matter. We want Black lives to matter now. As simple as that,” he added.
The death of an African-American man, George Floyd in police custody in the United States triggered protests across the globe against racism.
The Black Lives Matter movement has garnered a lot of support over the last few weeks and the sporting fraternity has backed the campaign with their on-field support.
England and West Indies teams are expected to ‘take a knee’ after the toss that has been delayed in combined support of the Black Lives Movement.
After an executive board meeting of the Asian Cricket Council (ACC), it was decided that this year’s Asia Cup, which was scheduled on September, will now be postponed due to the unavoidable circumstances created by COVID-19 pandemic. ACC hopes the event will take place in June 2021.
In the same meeting, hosting board Pakistan exchanged the hosting rights with Sri Lanka who will host the next Asia Cup, and Pakistan will host the next edition in 2022.
“From the onset, the Board was keen on organising the tournament as per the original schedule. However, travel restrictions, country-specific quarantine requirements, fundamental health risks and social distancing mandates have posed as substantial challenges to the holding of the Asia Cup,” an ACC media release reads.
“Above all, the risks related to health and safety of participating players, support staff, commercial partners, fans and the cricketing community were deemed to be significant,” the released adds.
Pakistan was the host nation of this Asia Cup. They were hopeful to host his event in the soil of Pakistan, but India refused to tour to Pakistan which had forced the authority to opt UAE as the venue.
‘Accordingly, the Board, after careful consideration of all the above factors, has determined that the Asia Cup 2020 be postponed. Conducting the event in a responsible manner remains the priority of the ACC and the Board is hopeful that the tournament will be held in 2021. The ACC is currently working towards securing June 2021 as a suitable window for the same,” the release further reads.
Cricket Committee of Dhaka Metropolis (CCDM), the authority of Dhaka Premier Division Cricket League, has asked the players who take part in the league to focus on their fitness so that they can start playing in a short notice of 15 days.
Cricket remains on hold in the country since mid-March this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. Since then, 14 international matches of Bangladesh have also been postponed, including series against Pakistan, Australia, Ireland and Sri Lanka.
This year’s Dhaka League had taken the place in March, right after two rounds of the games, the event was paused due to the pandemic.
“Yesterday I attended a meeting with CWAB (Cricketers’ Welfare Association of Bangladesh) and several national team and First-class cricketers. We spoke about the possible start of DPL season. At this point, we can’t confirm a date but want the DPL clubs to be in regular touch virtually with players to make sure the players can maintain fitness. The clubs should be prepared to start the league when the situation is suitable with a short notice of 15 days,” Kazi Inam Ahmed, the CCDM chairman, said in a statement.
“We hope once cricket resumes in the country we will have DPL to start with and this is something even the board President has said in several previous conversations,” he added.
Bangladesh’s 14 international matches were postponed due to the pandemic, including six Tests (three against Sri Lanka, two against Australia, one against Pakistan), four ODIs (three against Ireland, one against Pakistan) and four T20Is (all against Ireland).
The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) has decided to extend the contracts of their coaching staff who guided Akbar Ali-led team to clinch their first-ever ICC Under-19 World Cup title in February this year.
The BCB decided to extend the contract of its head coach Naveed Newaz for three years till 2023 while the contracts of its Strength and Conditioning Coach Richard Stonier has been extended for two years till 2022, informed the BCB CEO Nizamuddin Chowdhury Shujon.
Bangladesh Under-19 Cricket team, under the proper guidence of former Sri Lankan cricketer Naveed Nawas became world champions after beating India in the ICC Under-19 World Cup final in Potchefstroom, South Africa.
The BCB CEO also said that the board had decided to extend the contracts of its Under-19's coaching staff for another term soon after their historic victory over India, but the official announcement was delayed due to the outbreak of coronavirus in the country and elsewhere in the world.
"The Under-19 coaching staff played a vital role for the success of Bangladesh team in the U-19 World Cup and the board had decided to keep the coaching staff for another term. We had come to a decision about this earlier but due to the coronavirus situation we could not announce it officially at that time," he added.
He said the official signing of the extended contracts will be done in a day or two.