There are a lot of risks and fears as the coronavirus situation in the country is not improving much. Still, life is going on and people from different walks of life are trying to find ways to survive in the new normal. Especially when it comes to communication, decision-making and planning, they are not waiting for traditional arrangements. Instead, virtual meetings have become the popular choice during this pandemic.
Initially, sport was not a priority. It was imperative to save lives following the unprecedented impact of the virus on every aspect of our lives, but gradually the sports fraternity all over the world has come forward to find ways to resume.
Understandably, Bangladesh is still in a dilemma over how to resume sport. But there is no point in sitting idle with future plans and course of action.
Former Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) president Saber Hossain Chowdhury recently pointed out that country's most affluent sporting body is lagging behind other countries when it comes to thinking outside the box and facing the new normal. He asked for proactive, creative and collective efforts in this crisis, where meeting virtually is the rule, not the exception.
The BCB, the custodian of the country's most popular sport, is apparently nowhere close to such initiatives, which has been reflected in their recent activities.
While the Bangladesh Football Federation (BFF) has held a number of virtual meetings to take decisions, we only recently came to know from the BCB's Media Committee Chairman that they were waiting for board president Nazmul Hassan, who underwent surgery in London, to return to the country before holding such a meeting.
It is a huge opportunity for the BCB to engage all of their members in discussion about how to chart their course of action and a virtual platform can be especially useful in engaging sports organisers over the country to seek out solutions to redesign the decrepit domestic cricket structure, which they need to prioritise in the post-pandemic world. What we got instead were dithering comments from board higher-ups.
Their own president is the chief of the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) but an important director had no idea about the impending cancellation of the Asia Cup just a few days before it was made official. He mentioned then that the BCB might target the Asia Cup as a way to bring players back to the field for preparation.
Another director stated that they were considering Cox's Bazar or BKSP as alternative venues for the Dhaka Premier League and also arranging accommodation to maintain isolation so they could start on short notice when the situation was conducive to resumption. The development committee only on Wednesday held a meeting to announce that they were looking to resume the Under-19 team's camp next month. But nobody actually knows what the board's decision is.
Players are complaining that they are not getting a clear picture from their board regarding the resumption of training or cricket. They were confused when the board said that they discouraged individual outdoor practice but that players could now do so at their own risk.
Many believe there are tough times ahead for the BCB when it comes to international series, but the only thing the BCB has assured is that they are in good shape in terms of financial stability. On the other hand, the postponement of Asia Cup only a few hours after the Pakistan Cricket Board dismissed of BCCI president Sourav Ganguly's comments on an impending cancellation just shows that in the post-pandemic era, everything will not happen according to what was written on the previous sheet. However, there are hardly any signs that the BCB is collectively discussing the challenges in the coming days.
The BCB cannot simply think that everything will get going only when they do. That attitude puts them at risk of being left at sea while the rest of the world embarks on their voyage into the new normal.