Cricketer-turned chief guard denies failure

Atif Azam | Published: 22:55, Oct 03,2016


Bangladesh Cricket Board’s security coordinator Mohammad Ali (2nd-R) takes away an intruder, who unexpectedly entered the field and hugged captain Mashrafee bin Murtaza, during Bangladesh’s third ODI match against Afghanistan at Mirpur on Saturday. — New Age photo

Entering through the main gate of Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium, one will see a heavy man standing nearby with a walkie-talkie, shouting at people, sometimes apparently for no reason.
That man is called Mohammad Ali, a former pace bowler and now the security coordinator of Bangladesh Cricket Board.
No one is quite sure why Ali, who is in his mid 40s, has been given such a highly sensitive job despite having no prior experience in handling the security issues.
Perhaps it is his cricketing background, but it seems absurd to many people as many former players have taken a lot of responsibilities in cricketing world but doing the job of security co-coordinator is unheard of.
Ali got furious when he was asked a question about his knowledge on security issues.
‘I played cricket for nine years. If I don’t belong here who does?’ Ali told reporters.
The BCB’s security system came under question during the just-concluded home series against Afghanistan when a fan named Mehedi Hasan entered the field unexpectedly to hug national skipper Mashrafee bin Murtaza.
Though this kind of situation is not very uncommon in some of the other Test playing nations, it came as a blow considering vast security measures taken by the board.
If Mehedi’s incident was an act of immaturity of a die-hard fan, the entire security system managed by 65 people guided by Ali can be called as big failure.
‘He [Mohammad Ali] does not have any education on security system,’ admitted major retried Hossain Imam, the chief security consultant of the BCB.
‘He is related with the board for quite some time and developed his experience,’ he said.
Mehedi’s reaching the grand stand despite having a ticket of eastern gallery worth Tk 100 is being viewed as severe security lapse, though Ali refused to accept his failure.
‘I don’t think there was any security lapse,’ said Ali.
‘I am responsible at the security of the gate and don’t check the ticket.
‘We are investigating the whole matter and will know the truth after it is completed.’
Ali also showed his anger at the media as they raised question over the security lapse following the incident.
‘You cannot blame us for one incident,’ he said. You can only blame the people who were responsible for maintaining security in particular area,’ he added.
‘The security is responsible for the gate. I won’t say they failed who are responsible at that place but we are looking after it,’ said Ali.  

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