All not well in Tigers’ den

February 25, 2014

Bangladesh will go into Asia Cup with their team harmony seriously disrupted by recent events, Bangladesh Cricket Board president Nazmul Hasan observed on Monday.
Speaking to reporters at his office, Nazmul said he had noticed that all had not been going well in the Tigers’ camp dating back to Bangladesh’s tour of Zimbabwe last year.
The recent complaint from skipper Mushfiqur Rahim that he was not consulted during team selection for the Asia Cup only brought the matter to the public eye.
Cricket insiders said the most worrisome problem was a clash of personalities, which has left the Tigers divided in several camps.
Tamim Iqbal’s decision to quit the vice-captaincy ahead of the two-match Twenty20 series against Sri Lanka showed how uncomfortable he was accepting Mashrafee bin Murtaza as the stop-gap skipper in place of the injured Mushfiq.
It is widely known that these days a great deal inside the Tigers dressing room depends on how certain players are related to other senior cricketers.
Naeem Islam, a friend of Sakib al Hasan and Bangladesh’s top-scorer in the ODI series against New Zealand late last year, was excluded from the playing XI in first two ODIs against Sri Lanka, while an out-of-sorts Mahmudullah continued to receive the backing of team management, leading cricket insiders to suggest that the former vice-captain’s personal relationship with Mushfiq, who is engaged to his sister-in-law, was behind the selection.
The disharmony in the team was apparent during the last ODI against Sri Lanka, when a normally enthusiastic Anamul Haque held Dinesh Chandimal’s edge off Rubel Hossain but did not appeal.
The bowler did, and umpire Rod Tucker agreed, but Anamul’s reaction infuriated Rubel and some of his teammates, and the bowler told the wicketkeeper during the celebration that he should have appealed.
‘I am seeing that there has been some sort of rhythm-loss in the team for a long time,’ Nazmul said at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium on Monday.
‘There are certain things that should not have happened. If you ask me, I am noticing this from the Zimbabwe tour.’
‘We are hearing a lot of things that we expected not to have happened, and we were quite bemused hearing it,’ he added.
The BCB president indicated that the BCB took tough action against ace all-rounder Sakib al Hasan for a lewd on-camera gesture to send him and other players a message that nothing will go unpaid or unattended.
Nazmul added that he had expected to take action immediately after every disciplinary breach but did not at the insistence of his BCB colleagues, who had preferred to give the players some leeway.
‘Everyone wants some time. “Let the [ICC World Twenty20] finish and we will sort out everything in the next six months”,’ said Nazmul, repeating the appeals others at the BCB to be lenient on players.
‘Personally, I am against waiting until a certain period. I believe that even if we do badly in the Asia Cup and [World Twenty20] there should be discipline. Nobody is indispensible,’ he added.
When asked about Mushfiq’s public outburst on the selection issue, the BCB president said he would look into the matter after chief selector Faruk Ahmed arrived, but he did express his disappointment.
‘Before a big tournament, it does not look good to hear such a thing regarding the team selection from the skipper.’

-With New Age input

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