Syed Ashraful Huq, a Bangladeshi cricketer-turned-sports-organiser, became the joint secretary of the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) in 1983. In the following two decades he rose through the ranks and was appointed the first chief executive officer (CEO) of the council.
Known as the architect of Bangladesh's first-ever International Cricket Council (ICC) trophy victory, Huq recalled his early days in the ACC during an in-depth conversation with Anis A Khan in the sixteenth episode of "Ogroj," according to a press release on Tuesday.
Regarding the formation of the ACC, first formed as the Asian Cricket Conference, Huq said, "The primary purpose of our gathering was to get the World Cup out of England. At the same time, the Asian teams thought that since they were in a good position in terms of popularity, they wanted to form a pressure group. That is why the Asian Cricket Conference was formed."
"So, we succeeded in that first purpose to bring the World Cup to India in 1986. Asian cricket teams emerged as a strong group in the world. The most important thing was that we were able to start the Asia Cup," he added.
Apart from the ACC, Huq also served as the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) as its general secretary. He was a close associate of Jagmohan Dalmiya, former president of the ICC. Through their joint efforts Bangladesh cricket first built a strong position on the world stage.
Bangladesh's existence in world cricket was probably most highlighted in 1988 when the country hosted the Asia Cup. Huq, back then a high-up in the BCB, was displaying his skill. As time wore on, he developed himself as one of the best organisers in Bangladesh cricket.
His international connections made him a better organiser of global events, and his ability to do this was the key behind Bangladesh emerging as one of the test-playing nations.
A few months later, Bangladesh appeared in its first World Cup, and the 62-run win against Pakistan in the group stage showed a glimpse of what the country is capable of. In the year 2000, the country joined the main fleet of cricket-playing nations and played its first test against India in Dhaka.