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29 March, 2020 04:02:19 AM
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BCB goes ahead with wide-ranging plans

MD ABU TALHA SARKER, Dhaka
BCB goes ahead with wide-ranging plans

Even though it is somewhat delayed, the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) has finally done the bulk of the work on what they were planning to implement in Bangladesh cricket.

The BCB had planned to split captaincy, for which they had an option in hand after they handed the Test captaincy to top-order batsman Mominul Haque Saurav, and T20 captaincy to all-rounder Mahmudullah Riyad.

They formally stepped into the split captaincy era with the appointment of Tamim Iqbal Khan as the new one-day captain, after Mashrafe Bin Mortaza stepped down from captaincy.

In an effort to produce a good yield across the formats, the board had formulated a comprehensive, long-term plan three-four years back under which they had adopted the split captaincy theory, along with forming discrete squads for all the three formats of the game.

Along with that, the BCB, in league with the then head coach, Chandika Hathurusingha, devised another far-reaching plan to inject fresh blood, dropping senior players from the squad gradually. The idea was to build an arsenal of young talented and quality players to easily fit into the shoes of the veteran campaigners before their retirement.

The board had prepared a list of players from where they wanted to drop Mominul Haque, Abdur Razzak, Imrul Kayed, Mashrafe Bin Mortaza, Shahriar Nafees, Abul Hasan Raju and Sohag Gazi one by one. Actually Chandika Hathurusingha, the result-oriented coach in Bangladesh cricketing history, pulled the strings behind the scene.

The board had also an implicit plan to bring Shakib back to captaincy in Test, because they wanted to keep him some more years in cricket with the captaining role, so that Bangladesh can keep continuing their uptrend graph. In the meantime, the board could bring forward some guys who can take the rudder and drive the team towards the same path.

They stripped Mushfiqur Rahim of captaincy and handed Test captaincy to Shakib Al Hasan, after handing ODI and Twenty20 captaincy to Mashrafe Bin Mortaza in 2014.

In 2017, the management handed T20 captaincy to Shakib, when Mashrafe took an abrupt decision to retire from Twenty20 cricket in Sri Lanka on the plea of the head coach and the team management disputes. The BCB president, Nazmul Hassan Papon, himself told him to continue some more years, but Mashrafe was reluctant to return to the fold to start his cricket as a player in the shorter format of the game.

On the other hand, Shakib was silently planning to skip the longer version of the game to widen his cricketing career in the shorter formats. His motive had been exposed when he took a break from the South Africa tour while the Tigers were showing their improved instinct in the longer version of cricket, beside their surge in one-day cricket.

Shakib Al Hasan's decision to take a break from the Test series angered Hathurusingha, along with all in and out of the board. Beside the team management, the other national captains took a swipe at the board to allow the untimely break to Shakib.

They all called upon the board to take a stiff decision against him whatever player he may be. They argued that Shakib is the key player of the team. If he doesn’t tour with the team, the opposition will get an advantage before the game and can easily devise their mechanism and gameplan to tame the rival team.

They think that Shakib can play smoothly more than five years across the formats, but his behaviour shows that he is reluctant to play Test cricket. And if he has exposed such a plan or mentality, he should skip it for the betterment of the country’s cricket because no one likes to replace him in Bangladesh cricket. He still has many things to give to cricket.

The board was already done. As of now, they should move forward to their designed ways.

The BCB, meanwhile, separated players for the red (pink) ball and the white-ball cricket and prepared their centrally contracted players for the next one year (2020).

There are two World Cups on 20-overs in two successive years ahead, the first of which is six-to-seven months away. And so, they should play more matches and tournaments among them to decorate the team combination, along with honing their skills and techniques so that they can dovetail with the Australian pace and bouncy friendly wickets.

Of course, they will get to play a string of T20 matches, including three against Ireland and the rest of the matches against New Zealand, alongside T20 Asia Cup just before the T20 extravaganza, that is slated to kick off in Australia on October 18.

In the meantime, Cricket Ireland (CI) announced that they will host Bangladesh in England for the T20 series due to refurbishment of their grounds, a fact that has been good for the Bangladesh team, because English conditions are akin to Australian conditions that will benefit them to prepare for the flagship event. But the series in Ireland has been postponed for an indefinite period in the wake of the worldwide coronavirus pandemic.

It would be better further for Bangladesh if they could arrange the next BPL before the Asia Cup. But it’s not possible to arrange it within the short span of time, because all the multiple events across the world are being postponed due to the deadly coronavirus outbreak that has killed a few thousand and affected a few lakh people across the world.

The contagious virus has spread its fangs in Bangladesh. So far, five people in the country have died from being affected by the novel virus of COVID-19. Consulting with the government, the BCB postponed a gala concert of Indian music maestro, AR Rahman, and two international T20 matches between Asia XI and Rest of the World XI to commemorate the centenary birth anniversary of the Father of the Nation, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

They suspended the Dhaka Premier Division Cricket League (DPDCL) for an indefinite period after the initial first round of games. Even the board closed the stadium and academy alongside its gymnasium to keep the players away from fielding level activities, so that the players can stay at home safe and sound and return to cricket when all the hindrances are over.

EA

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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