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It’s a first for Bangladesh

- Mustafa Kamal to be the ICC president in 2014
Mustafa Kamal

Calcutta: Come 2014 and A.H.M. Mustafa Kamal will become the fourth Asian, after Jagmohan Dalmiya, Ehsan Mani and Sharad Pawar, to sit in the International Cricket Council (ICC) president’s chair.

Like Pawar, he’s a politician.

The position is going to become largely ornamental, with powers resting with the chairman, and the tenure reduced from two years to one, but Kamal will still be creating history from Bangladesh’s perspective.

That, too, less than 15 years after the country got Test status.

It was on November 30 last year that The Telegraph reported first that Kamal, an influential member of the Jatiya Sangshad (National Assembly) and a prominent businessman, was set to become the ICC president in 2014.

“More than an honour for me, it’s an honour for the people of Bangladesh and for Bangladesh cricket... What’s very pleasing is that the ICC’s Executive Board approved my nomination unanimously... It wasn’t put to vote,” Kamal told this Reporter from Colombo.

He added: “Right now, I’m not sure what all I’ll be doing (because of the changes in the ICC’s structure from 2014), but I do know that I’m going to be the president...”

Kamal was contacted minutes after the ICC announced that the Executive Board had, on Tuesday, accepted the “joint nomination” of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB).

By rotation it was the PCB and the BCB’s turn to nominate the vice-president from 2012-14, with the same gentleman becoming the president in 2014, at the end of Alan Isaac’s tenure.

Isaac benefitted from the controversy surrounding John Howard, a former Prime Minister of Australia.

Ideally, Kamal’s nomination should have been accepted during the ICC’s Annual Conference, earlier this year, but was put on hold till the Executive Board met after the World Twenty20.

But all’s well that ends well.

Kamal, by the way, has to step down as the BCB president before he assumes office as the ICC’s vice-president. That’s a mandatory requirement.

“I’ll meet our Prime Minister (Sheikh Hasina) on returning home... I’ll then do what’s required to be done,” Kamal said.

Kamal is from Hasina’s Awami League and was appointed by her three years ago.

In Pakistan and in Sri Lanka, the Board chairman/president gets ‘installed’ by the country’s President.

Things are, of course, a lot different in India.