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Saber Hossain Chowdhury
"It's been not just a dream but a national obsession"
 real 56k

Wednesday, 2 August, 2000, 09:22 GMT 10:22 UK
Bangladesh pass Test
ICC meeting
ICC delegates meet in the Long Room at Lord's
The International Cricket Council has voted to make Bangladesh the 10th Test-playing nation.

New ICC president Malcolm Gray told a news conference at Lord's: "The ICC has decided that Bangladesh should be elevated from associate to Test match status."

Bangladesh is the first new country to join the Test ranks since Zimbabwe in 1992.

Saber Hossain Chowdhury, the head of the Bangladesh Cricket Control Board, said: "There have been two teams from the ICC inspection committee who have visited Bangladesh.

Mehrab Hossain
Leading batsman Mehrab Hossain
"They have satisfied themselves that we have the infrastructure, we have the crowd support, we have the commercial sponsorship. Really it's a huge potential.

He added: "Test cricket has embraced 130 million people to its fold and that is tremendous news for cricket. I know good news is at a premium at the moment and I'm glad Bangladesh has featured in that good news."

There have already been scenes of celebration in Dakar with thousands of banner-waving supporters taking to the streets.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina told reporters: "I am very happy and thank the ICC for granting Test status to Bangladesh. It will inspire our cricketers to strive harder towards their goals, including winning the World Cup one day."

  Bangladesh wins
Beat Kenya by 6 wickets, May 1998
Beat Scotland by 22 runs, May 1999
Beat Pakistan by 62 runs, May 1999

Bangladesh have played 40 one-day internationals, but won only three of them, and their triumph against Pakistan during last year's World Cup has since been tainted by match-fixing allegations.

There is, however, passionate support for cricket in Bangladesh, with crowds of 40,000 not unknown at club games.

Chowdhury said Bangladesh owed the family of world cricket a debt of gratitude and they would work to "develop, strengthen and fortify the game."

Khaled Mahmud
All-rounder Khaled Mahmud
The BCCB has worked hard to improve the game's infrastructure and introduced a new National League with first-class status for 1999-2000, featuring six divisional teams.

They also brought in famous names to help speed the development of the national side.

Former West Indies opener Gordon Greenidge worked with the team last year, before the BCCB turned to former South African captain Eddie Barlow.

He became the director of development, based in Dhaka, but was forced to give up the job when he suffered a stroke and Sarwar Imran took over as coach for the recent Asia Cup tournament.

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See also:

22 Jun 00 |  Cricket
Bangladesh's big Test BBC News >>
24 May 00 |  Cricket
Bangladesh set to pass Test BBC News >>
25 Feb 00 |  Cricket
Bangladesh could join Test top ten BBC News >>
31 May 99 |  General News
Bangladesh bow out in glory BBC News >>
25 May 99 |  General News
Bangladesh's first triumph BBC News >>
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