Ireland give Bangladesh ultimatum
Nick Royle (Setanta Sports)
Cricket Ireland have given Bangladesh until the end of the week to confirm whether they are coming to tour the country in July.
CI have been attempting to finalise a tour that the Bangladesh Cricket Board had themselves requested, after the BCB found themselves without any games scheduled over the summer months.
However, Setanta Sports has learned that the BCB have yet to sign off on the trip to Ireland, seven days after CI expected contracts to be exchanged. The delay has left Cricket Ireland behind schedule in their preparations, and prompted CI chief executive Warren Deutrom to make the ultimatum to the BCB.
"We have told them that we must have this sorted this week," Cricket Ireland high performance director Richard Holdsworth told Setanta Sports.
"Warren has indicated that we want a message by return (of post)."
The Bangladeshi media have suggested that the BCB are keen to make themselves available should either Australia or England want to play Bangladesh in a one-day international (ODI) at the end of their own five-game series in June and July.
However, Holdsworth thin s it is unlikely that the BCB are holding out for a game against Australia or England at the expense of the Irish.
"Australia are coming over for an ODI series with England, and play Ireland before that. England have a packed programme over the summer, right up until they go to Sri Lanka for the t20 in September," Holdsworth said.
"I would be very surprised if Bangladesh were able to negotiate a game with either of them - and we have had no indication that that is the case."
Bangladesh are scheduled to play three ODIs with Ireland, then Mushfiqur Rahim's team will travel to Scotland to play the Scots and the Netherlands in ODIs there.
The original BCB request included a four-day game against the Irish, which CI reluctantly turned down on cost grounds, but Holdsworth thinks that Bangladesh may have delayed finalising the tour to lobby for a four-day game to be slotted in at the last minute.
"It is understandable, as they are coming a long way and want as much cricket as they can get. We would love to play them in a four-day game, but it does become cost prohibitive," he said.
"We don't want to miss this opportunity, but they have to understand our budget. We cannot afford to overspend on these things."
This article first appeared at www.setanta.com/ien/Articles/2012/05/22/CI-give-Bangladesh-ultimatum/gnid-142923/ and is reproduced with the permission of the author. You can follow Nick Royle on Twitter @naroylesetanta