Bangladesh Cricket Board president Nazmul Hasan has questioned the role of veterans Tamim Iqbal (centre) and Shakib Al Hasan (right) in the ongoing crisis. Image Credit: AP file

Dhaka: Bangladesh Cricket Board president Nazmul Hasan ‘Papon’ has alleged that there has been constant attempts to sabotage Bangladesh’s upcoming tour of India and the strike by country’s top cricketers with 11-point demand was an extension of that.

Bangladesh players called off the strike after BCB agreed to their demands of better pay package at the international and first-class level days before their four-week long tour of India where they are supposed to play three T20s and two Tests.

“You people [media] haven’t yet seen anything about the India tour. Just wait and watch. If I am saying that I had specific information that this was a conspiracy to sabotage India tour, then you should believe me,” Hasan said in an interview.

Asked to explain in detail why he thought so, Hasan has expressed his suspicion in the manner senior opener Tamim Iqbal has pulled out of the tour citing his wife’s delivery as a reason after initially agreeing to only skip the final Test.

“Tamim had initially told me that he will only skip the second Test [in Kolkata from November 22-26] for the birth of his second child. However, after the meeting with players, Tamim comes to my room and said, he wants to opt out of whole tour. I asked him ‘why so?’ but he simply said he won’t go,” Hasan revealed.

Bangladesh are due to arrive in New Delhi on Wednesday (October 30) but BCB president is sceptical that there could be a few more pullouts.

“Now after this, I won’t be surprised if I find that someone else pulls out at the eleventh hour when we would be left with no other options. I have called Shakib to have a chat. Now if he also pulls out, where do I even find a captain? I might have to change whole combination. What do I even do with these players,” he said.

The top boss is still livid with the arm-twisting tactic employed by senior cricketers and feels he made a mistake by agreeing to their demands.

“I still can’t believe it. I speak to them everyday. They didn’t even intimate me before calling a strike. I feel that it was a mistake on my part to have agreed to their demands. I should have never done that,” he said.

“I should have told the players, ‘Unless you call off strike, we will not sit with you guys across the negotiation table. Speaking to various member boards, I felt that this should have been our approach, but the media also created pressure on us,” Hasan also added.

No change in T20I venue

The air in Delhi might have turned ‘severe’ during Diwali on Sunday as the Air Quality Index (AQI) recorded 999 in the Patparganj area, but there will be no change to the venue of the opening T20I of the series as the Arun Jaitley Stadium gets ready to host Sunday’s match.

Speaking to IANS, a senior BCCI functionary said that despite the air woes, the match is still on. “There will be no change to the venue of the opening T20I. We do realise that the air in the capital isn’t in a good position right now, but we are hoping things will get better in the next couple of days,” the functionary said.

As per AQI standards, 0-50 is considered good, 51-100 is satisfactory, 101-200 is moderate, 201-300 is poor while 301-400 is very poor. Readings above 400 is severe and is considered seriously harmful for the health. Anything above 500 comes under the emergency category.

Emission from firecrackers and stubble burning in adjoining areas of the National Capital Region has increased the pollution level. The situation is expected to be get worse going into the weekend.

According to the AQI data, recorded until 11pm on Sunday, the pollution level at the National Malaria Institute, Dwarka was 763 with high number of PM 10 (tiny particulate matter of diameter 10 micron or less).

At ITI Jahangirpuri, the pollution level was 407 followed by Srinivaspuri at 313, both in the very poor category.