THE Bangladesh Cricket Board Celebration Concert at the Bangabandhu National Stadium in the capital Dhaka Thursday evening, which featured Oscar-winning Indian composer AR Rahman, Senegalese-American R&B and hip-hop artist Akon, three local music bands and groups, and a 90-member Indian dance troupe, seems to have been a classic case of paradox on more than one counts. First of all, the event was not part of any International Cricket Council plan for the ICC World Twenty20 2014, which begins Sunday.
Moreover, the previous editions of the T20 event have not had any elaborate opening ceremony. Besides, the Bangladesh Cricket Board claims to have hosted the concert to create hype among people ahead of the T20 event. Yet, halfway through the concert, the prime minister officially declared the championship open, followed by ceremonial speeches from the BCB president and the finance minister. Second, according to a report published in New Age on March 8, the cricket board is currently going through severe funds constraints, which even impede its day-to-day activities. It is worth noting that the board sought Tk 9 crore in loan from a private bank against its fixed deposit. It is also worth noting that the board had rejected a plea from players to introduce umpire’s decision review system for the just-held Bangladesh-Sri Lanka series on account of austerity. Yet, it managed between Tk 14 and 18 crore for the concert; as the ICC did not sanction the event, not a single paisa came from the ICC coffers. Third, the concert took a heavy toll on other sports played in and around the Bangabandhu National Stadium. According to a report published in New Age on Thursday, most of the federations were forced to suspend their activities since the organisers of the concert sealed the entire stadium and restricted people’s movement on security grounds.
It was especially frustrating for the Bangladesh Hockey Federation, the hosts of the eight-national qualifying round of the Asian Games, which begins at the adjacent Maulana Bhashani National Hockey Stadium today. Last but not least, the concert was seemingly a celebration of consumerism, and not cricket, of primarily Bollywood-based Hindi film songs and dances, and not the cultural heritage of Bangladesh or any other participant in the T20 event.
If it showcased anything other than the songs, the dances, the fireworks, it was the moral bankruptcy of the policymakers of the cricket board, which they sought, but failed, to hide behind the claim of creating hype about the T20 championship among people in Bangladesh.
Source: New Age