POST TIME: 18 January, 2020 09:50:56 AM
BCB in no hurry to appoint fast-bowling coach
Ramanayaka likely to accompany team to Pakistan
Sports Reporter, Dhaka

BCB in no hurry to appoint fast-bowling coach

Champaka Ramanayaka

The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) will not appoint a fast-bowling coach right away as it plans to send its fast-bowling coach, Champaka Ramanayaka, to Pakistan with the national team, along with head coach Russell Domingo. It is learnt from BCB insiders that the board is not in a hurry to appoint a fast-bowling coach, though it has shortlisted the names of three. The BCB has discussed the matter with West Indies coach Ottis Gibson and South Africa coach Nantie Hayward during the BPL. The two are among the three shortlisted.

The BCB can pick one from among them to fill the post that fell vacant after Charl Langeveldt left Bangladesh to join the South African team. But they want to carefully appoint someone who would not leave like Langeveldt. The board will dispatch Sohel Islam as spin bowling coach, along with Domingo and Champaka. But the national team's strength and conditioning coach, Mario Villavarayen, will not travel with the team this time due to a finger injury. Also, spin bowling consultant Daniel Vettori and Fielding coach Ryan Cook won’t travel to Pakistan.

Bangladesh will tour Pakistan for the upcoming bilateral series, which will be held in three phases. The first will get underway with Twenty20 on January 24. The BCB is yet to announce its T20 squad for the series, though the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has already declared its T20 squad.  It is being said that wicketkeeper-batsman, Mushfiqur Rahim, has opted out of the series in Pakistan due to family reasons and not security issues. But he has not informed the board in writing.

The BCB selectors have submitted the names of the squad, including Mushfiq. But an option has been kept for the wicketkeeper-batsman. The BCB president, Nazmul Hassan Papon, is yet to approve the Tigers' squad for the three-match T20 series. It is learnt that the president is waiting for Mushfiq’s letter. Chief selector, Minhajul Abedin Nannu, said he told him to formally send a letter, citing the reason to pull out from the series. “Mushfiq (ur Rahim) phoned me and said he is not going to Pakistan. I told him to formally send a letter. If he sends it to us or the board, we will drop him from the T20 squad for the tour of Pakistan,” he told the media.

However, it is learnt that the selectors can pick Imrul Kayes in place of Mushfiqur. Kayes is in fine form in the current Bangabandhu-Bangladesh Premier League (BPL). He played well for Chattogram Challengers throughout the special edition of the domestic blockbuster Twenty20 cricket tournament. Batting at No 3, the experienced player scored 442 runs from 13 matches. He slammed four half centuries with an average of 49.11. He exceeded Tamim Iqbal and Soumya Sarkar in strike rate. The left-handed batsman enthralled Bangabandhu-BPL with a strike rate of 132.33.

If Mushfiq does not finally travel to Pakistan for the series, the team management can keep its faith in Imrul for the No. 3 position. For the country, Imrul played his last T20 matches against South Africa in 2017. He has represented the country in 14 T20 international matches so far. Even though he has struck four half centuries in this BPL, he is yet to score any half century in T20 international.

Bangladesh ensured the tour of Pakistan on Tuesday. Bangladesh will tour in Pakistan in three phases. They will return home from Lahore after playing three T20 matches in the first phase. Mosaddek Hossain Saikat will also miss this tour due to an injury he sustained in Sylhet during the BPL. So, the BCB has to carefully choose a balanced team for the Pakistan tour. And for this, they are waiting for Mushfiqur Rahim for his last say.