By Qaiser Mohammad Ali
Dhaka : The excellent facilities provided by the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) to the media would put the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), the world's richest cricket body, to shame.
The facilities provided to the 100-plus journalists covering the matches in Dhaka and Chittagong, the two venues for India's tour, exceed all expectations. From wi-fi Internet connections to telephones and fax, the BCB media committee has provided it all to the large media contingent.
They have also provided a scanner machine, a photocopier and printers besides a number of computers to journalists, surprising many of them.
"We have provided these because we feel that these are the things that the media requires," said BCB media manager Rabeed Imam.
"Media is an important part of the game in Bangladesh, and we regularly take inputs and opinions from journalists to keep improving the facilities. We have a separate budget for the media," BCB media committee chairman Reazuddin Al Mamoon told IANS.
The facilities were top notch not just in Dhaka but also in the port city of Chittagong, where the third and final one-day international match and the first test were played.
The Bir Shrestha Shahid Ruhul Amin Stadium may not match Mumbai's plush Brabourne Stadium or Lahore's Gaddafi Stadium but the wi-fi Internet connections, the computers and the fax machines would put to shame many established international venues. The press box could host as many 80 reporters.
"There was another media box in which the local reporters sat because they wanted the Indian journalists to be comfortable in the main air-conditioned box," said Rabeed Imam.
"We have provided 12 computers, three printers, seven UPS machines, one scanner. More computers could have been provided at one-and-half-hour notice," said Mohammad Nur Islam Basunia, in charge of the media facilities in Chittagong.
Nowhere in India are so many facilities provided by BCCI or any match hosting association.
An indication of how the BCCI treats the media is evident from the fact that no media manager has come on this tour.
Even on the few occasions BCCI has sent media managers on tours, they have been more interested in spending time with the players in the team's dressing rooms than looking after the needs of the touring media contingent.
The BCB media manager, on the other hand, is always present in the press box. His primary concern is to look after each and every reporter's needs.
Although BCCI has a media committee, which is supposed to looks after the national media covering the game, it announced last month that it would appoint a media manger for two years.