Ex-captain flays introduction of Twenty20

Published: Friday, October 8, 2004, 23:53 [IST]
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Dhaka:Former Bangladesh captain and frontline batsman Akram Khan asserted that the introduction of Twenty20 tourney in the Corporate Cricket League (CCL) would greatly rob off the charm and appeal of the competition, which had been a roaring success last year.

Khan said he failed to fathom why the BCB had to alter the format, which had been a highly successfully one.

"Really I can't understand why BCB had to change an already successful format. If at all, they wanted to launch the Twenty20 meet, they could easily have invited the Premier League clubs to play as part of their warm up exercise for the League," he said.

"The first edition of the CCL evoked a lot of enthusiasm and interest among the corporate houses in the country. It could've been a bonus for fans and cricketers alike had it been held side by side with the popular Dhaka Leagues."

"See, I'm not at all against Twenty20 tourney. All I'm saying is that the CCL which had been a big hit might pan out into another into 'holiday cricket'," said the former right-handed burly batsman, who played for Bashundhara Group last season.

The former Bangladesh skipper also did not agree with the school of thought that the Twenty20 meet would help in churning out big hitters for the national side.

"I don't think we can produce big hitters by merely introducing the Twenty20 meet. We can improve only if we've proper domestic structure," said Khan, widely regarded as one of the robust hitters of a cricket ball.

He sounded worried that tinkering with the CCL format could shut down a window of opportunity for budding cricketers in the country.

"I reckon the Board should have taken into consideration of former and current cricketers' views before taking the decision," he said.

He refused to lay the blame on the current team members for their sloppy performance in the international circuit.

" I won't put the blame on our cricketers for their failures in two one-day tournaments recently since most of them don't know how to handle pressure because they have never played in pressure situations in any domestic competitions."

"Only when our blokes learn to cope with pressure scenarios in domestic meets, they would be able to tackle tough situations in international matches," he pointed out.

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