India and Bangladesh will play a Test for the first time at the Eden Gardens. (Photo Credit: PTI)
Bangladesh are embarking on their second tour of India in the last three years. In 2017, the team had broken new ground as they played their first-ever Test in India during the match in Hyderabad. In 2019, Bangladesh will embark on their first full tour of India by playing three Twenty20 Internationals and two Tests which will be part of the ICC World Test Championships. The first Test will be played in Indore while the second match will be played at the historic Eden Gardens from November 22 to 26. However, according to sources, the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) has sent an invitation to Bangladesh Prime Minister Shiekh Hasina to watch the game.
The sources revealed that CAB has also sent invitation to Prime Minister Narendra Modi but it couldn't be confirmed. An unnamed senior CAB official said, "I can confirm that an invitation has been sent to Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina's office some time back. However in case of our Honourable PM, BCCI president-elect Sourav Ganguly is looking into it. I cannot confirm or deny the development," the official added.
The potential cricket diplomacy could be part of a larger diplomatic relations between India and Bangladesh, which have ebbed and flowed in the past couple of months. Recently, a Border Security Force (BSF) jawan was killed, while another injured on Thursday in firing “apparently” by the Border Guards Bangladesh (BJP) troops of Bangladesh along the international border of the two countries in West Bengal. Prior to that, three Indian fishermen went for fishing in River Padma in the border area and one of them was apprehended by a BGB patrol party.
Bangladesh and India's Prime Ministers met recently during the start of October where they decided to set up a joint coastal surveillance system and launched an LPG supply project. Prime Minister Modi and his Bangladeshi counterpart Sheikh Hasina held "comprehensive" talks, signalling further expansion of already close strategic ties. The two sides signed seven agreements and launched three projects including import of LPG by India from Bangladesh besides resolving to expeditiously prepare a draft framework for sharing of waters of six rivers. In the discussions, PM Hasina also raised her concerns over roll out of National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam, an exercise carried out to identify genuine Indian citizens living in Assam and weed out illegal Bangladeshis.