Bangladeshis rue Sixes omission

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 12 October, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 12 October, 2010, 12:00am

The Bangladeshi community is angry over the national team's omission from next month's Karp Group/PC Jeweller Hong Kong Cricket Sixes.

'Bangladesh is also a test-playing nation and we are surprised they have not been invited, though all the other sub-continent teams will be here,' said Dewan Saiful Alam, president of the Bangladesh Cultural Centre in Hong Kong.

In a letter to the South China Morning Post, Alam said the Bangladeshi community would add colour to the tournament, and that they would have more supporters than some of the other countries invited for the November 6-7 event at the Kowloon Cricket Club.

Eight teams will take part - defending champions South Africa, Australia, England, New Zealand, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Hong Kong.

'We have almost 1,000 Bangladeshi residents in Hong Kong who are also cricket crazy, and many of them would attend the tournament. They would add extra cheer to the atmosphere,' Alam said. 'Instead of spending money on teams who might not get any support, it would be better to invite Bangladesh. This will be economically viable and increase the tournament's popularity.'

Hong Kong Cricket Association chairman Dinesh Tandon said the priority had been to invite the same teams who played last year. 'Our tournament allows us to only have eight teams. We might have been able to squeeze in a ninth if our budget allowed it, but we only signed up our title sponsors just recently.

'We did reach out to prominent businessmen in the Bangladeshi community to ask them to sponsor their national team but nothing concrete came out of that,' he said. 'And as far as crowd support goes, I think other communities in Hong Kong have more than 1,000 people. But we haven't forgotten the help we got from the Bangladesh Cricket Board in 2007 when they sent a side at the last minute to replace the West Indies.'