International cricket is set to return to the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium (ZACS) in Chattogram after the first Test between Bangladesh and the West Indies earlier this year. That match was played behind closed doors. This won't be the case this time around as spectators will be allowed to enter the ground.
There are chairs but they are not in seating conditions. If one is broken, the other is upside down; iron nails have come out. In some galleries the chairs disappear from time to time, while in some parts there is not a single chair. The stairs are laid out step by step. Visitors used to sit here, but now there is no such opportunity. There is some iron left in the chair. Accidents can happen even if you walk.
The condition of the gallery of Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chattogram due to lack of maintenance is clear from the above description. The cricket stadium with a capacity of 22,000 spectators cannot accommodate 10,000 spectators. In this condition of the skeleton of the gallery, the first Test between Bangladesh and Pakistan is starting from November 26 at the stadium.
Anyone who looks at the gallery will be disappointed. Less than a quarter of the spectators will be able to watch the game in the Chattogram Test. 5 thousand tickets have been released. Except for the upper part of the East Gallery, Club House (East), Roof Top Hospitality and the International Stand of the Media Center, all other gallery gates will be closed. One of the reasons for this is the dilapidated state of the gallery.
However, Fazle Bari Khan, who is in charge of the maintenance of Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium, did not admit it. The BCB official, who is in charge of the venue, told The Business Standard: "For the maintenance of social distance due to the ongoing pandemic, the 5 thousand visitors are being allowed. That is the only reason. Not giving any visitors to the West Gallery. Half of the capacity of the East Gallery is being given."
He added: "The chairs were broken down a long time ago and were supposed to be installed before the Covid. RFL had received the work order. They were supposed to start work. But it was not possible to start work because of Covid. We hope that the work of installing the chair will probably be completed before the next Bangladesh Premier League (BPL). The chair installation will be done under the supervision of BCB."
The Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium is owned by the National Sports Council (NSC). The National Sports Council owns but it is used by the BCB. According to the rules, the Sports Council has to make all the renovations of the stadium. But in the meantime, they did not pay any attention. After looking at the National Sports Council for a long time, the BCB was forced to undertake the work of reform.
At one time there were no chairs at Zahur Ahmed Stadium. During that time, the spectators used to watch the game sitting in a place similar to the steps placed. The stadium was modernized on the occasion of the 2011 ODI World Cup. Plastic chairs are placed all over the stadium on one side of the gallery. But after a few years, there is no condition to look at the gallery. At least before the next BPL, this situation is not changing.