ICC World T20 in Bangladesh from Mar 16 next yr

The ICC World Twenty20 will be held in Bangladesh for the first time from March 16 to April 6 next year featuring 16 men’s and eight women’s teams.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) and the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) made the announcement at a press conference on the launching of the 5th ICC World Twenty20 Bangladesh 2014 at Sher-e Bangla National Cricket Stadium, Mirpur on Saturday.

ICC vice-president AHM Mustafa Kamal, BCB president Nazmul Hassan and members of the Bangladesh men’s team captain Mushfiqur Rahim and former vice-captain of Bangladesh women’s team Sathira Jakir Jesy spoke on the occasion.

Exactly one year out from the final of the 2014 ICC World T20 event, the captains of the men’s team and former vice captain of the women’s team could not check their emotion when the announcement for the fifth edition of the next year’s ICC World Twenty20 scheduled to be held in four venues - Dhaka (Mirpur), Chittagong, Sylhet and Cox’s Bazar -- came at the press conference.

Fresh from his man of the series performance for Bangladesh in Sri Lanka, Rahim told the packed media conference, “The atmosphere around the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 (which Bangladesh co-hosted) was special, but I’m sure the ICC World Twenty20 will generate even more excitement and passion among our supporters. This event pushes Bangladesh cricket back onto the world stage and I’m sure our players will rise to the occasion.”

“Playing as the host country in any event is a great honour and I think in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 and the Asia Cup 2012 we’ve shown that the Bangladesh team can raise their game and pull off some impressive victories. I’m personally so excited and for me the ICC World Twenty20 cannot come soon enough,” Rahim added.

Jesy, who has missed the recent Bangladesh women’s tour to India, said, “Bangladesh was privileged to host the ICC Women’s World Cup qualifier and I think many of the opposition players were surprised at the size of the crowds which regularly topped 10,000 for the event. When we played Pakistan and Sri Lanka in a tri-series in recent years the stadium in Mirpur was packed to its capacity. You cannot help but be inspired by such crowds.”

“This will be the first time the Bangladesh women will play in the ICC World Twenty20 and I think we’ve shown in India, despite the fact that we lost 3-0 that the quality of our cricket is improving and will continue to do so over the next 12 months. I know that all the girls will relish the chance to play in this historic event for women’s cricket in Bangladesh,” she further said.

Bangladesh Cricket Board president Nazmul Hasan added that the excitement around Bangladesh is already building for the event.

He said: “The logo launch tonight has attracted a lot of attention around the country and, as in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011, we expect that ticket demands will come from every nook and cranny around the country. It may well be that we need to increase the capacity of some stadiums to try and meet the demand to be a part of this event.

“Preparations are well under way in Mirpur, Chittagong and Sylhet and work will begin shortly on the new stadium at Cox’s Bazar and I can promise you that we’ll deliver an event which cricket will be proud of and most of all will be a tournament in which the people of Bangladesh can take great pride,” the BCC boss added.

ICC Vice President AHM Mustafa Kamal said, “As a Bangladeshi, I am delighted that the ICC World Twenty20 is coming to my country for the first time. Bangladesh has a great record for delivering world-class events and I know that the ICC will work closely with my friends and former colleagues at the Bangladesh Cricket Board to make this event a success.”

"The political situation during an election year in Bangladesh is usually remains unstable. So, I hope the situation will change during the World Twenty20s," ICC vice-president AHM Mustafa Kamal said. "Government and opposition leaders had come to watch the Asia Cup last year, so we believe that the political parties will not create any obstacles." Kamal added.

The ICC World Twenty20 2014 logo was released at a gala event at a local hotel in capital Saturday night. The logo captured the colour, energy and vibrancy of Bangladesh.

Bangladesh have already co-hosted the 2011 World Cup, including the opening ceremony, but the BCB were not clear about there being a similar program ahead of the 2014 event.