Bangladesh’s concern over the participation of West Indies in an ODI tri-series with Zimbabwe and Pakistan has boiled over, with the BCB director Jalal Yunus saying that the system of organising bilateral series had “gone bad” since the ICC stopped getting involved in the Future Tours Programme.
The WICB confirmed on Sunday that the tri-series would be held before the September 30 2015 cut-off date to qualify for the 2017 Champions Trophy.
“I feel that the FTP that the ICC had was better,” Yunus said. “The system has gone bad from the day the ICC stopped doing the FTP and the matter has become a bilateral agreement. It has created a lot of opportunities and loopholes. I don’t support this. It is no longer a healthy competition.”
Bangladesh are currently seventh with 93 points in the ICC ODI rankings, while West Indies are five points behind at eighth. Pakistan are currently ninth, but have a five-match series against Sri Lanka starting on July 11. Without knowing much about the make-up of the tri-series, there has been some concern over Bangladesh’s qualification for the Champions Trophy.
Ahead of their ODI series against India, Bangladesh knew they had to win two out of their six scheduled ODIs against India and South Africa. After they took a 2-0 lead against India earlier this month, calculations from the ICC ODI rankings system confirmed that Bangladesh had qualified for the 2017 tournament. However, the calculations took into considerations only the remaining matches in July to be played by Bangladesh and Pakistan.
Until Sunday’s confirmation, West Indies were not scheduled to play any ODIs before the September 30 deadline. Yunus, BCB’s media committee chairman, said that the new system left space for a lot of loopholes and manipulation. He added that West Indies’ participation in the tri-series, however, was within their right.
“When the ICC has left the matter to the countries to organise series among them, it has left a lot of space to be manipulated. I don’t see it as a conspiracy. We still have a chance. Nothing is happening outside of the rules. Everyone has the right.”
Yunus said Bangladesh can strengthen their position by doing well against South Africa, but there won’t be enough time between the end of the South Africa series and the September 30 deadline to organise more ODIs, as they are also scheduled to host two Tests against Australia in October.
“We don’t have much to do about this. There is no ICC FTP these days so it is not in their hands or ours. We also have a chance, if we can do well against South Africa,” Yunus said.
“There isn’t much time and other teams are busy too. We will finish the South Africa series in August and Australia will come in September. There’s not much chance of a new series.”