Siddons hails captaincy move

June 29, 2009

 Bangladesh coach Jamie Siddons has hailed the BCB’s move to change the captain of the side and said it was handed to the right person with Mashrafee bin Murtaza replacing Mohammad Ashraful.
‘It’s good for Ash (Ashraful) and tough for Mash (Mashrafee). It’s tough to captain the national team on the world stage. But Mashrafee is a good choice, a senior player who has performed well for Bangladesh in the past,’ Siddons said in his first public comment since the Bangladesh Cricket Board named a new captain last week.
‘I was the first person to propose to the board that Ashraful needs a break. Let’s take the pressure off him. We all know what he is capable of and playing without the added pressure of captaincy will do good for him,’ said Siddons at a press conference.
Siddons arrived in Dhaka on Sunday and went straight to the Mirpur Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium to attend the official press conference of the Bangladesh cricket team ahead of their tour to West Indies and Zimbabwe.
After Bangladesh had been eliminated from the first round of the ICC World Twenty20 Siddions flew to Australia to be with his girlfriend Kim during the birth of their first child and had planned to join the team in the West Indies.
His daughter Stella Rose was born hours after he landed in Melbourne and it gave him at least two weeks to enjoy his fatherhood. So, instead of joining the team in the West Indies he decided to return to Dhaka and fly with the squad.
He was hoping that the team would be able to put their English nightmare behind them during the tour.
‘The wickets in the West Indies will suit us. As I have seen the past few home series of the West Indies, it will suit our batsmen, medium pacers and spinners, so there is plenty to look forward to on this tour,’ he said.
Bangladesh drew a Test and pushed West Indies hard in the subsequent one-day series on their previous tour in 2004, but Siddons is not sure his charges will be able to put in that type of performance on this tour.
‘That was a different group of players and West Indies also were a different team. I hate this kind of comparison,’ he said adding that he did not expect the team to be changed much in West Indies than what it was in England during the ICC World Twenty20.
‘The players are still the same. They might have taken the performance in the World Twenty20 in their stride and may have changed themselves. A new captain and a new vice- captain…so the environment will be new but the players are still the same,’ he said.
‘We did not play any international matches prior to the World Twenty20 and that’s what went wrong in England. We had such less international match practice after the Sri Lanka-Zimbabwe series, which now feels like it’s been ages,’ added the Australian.
He hoped Bangladesh will never be in such a situation when there will not be any international match in a six-month period despite the reported ICC plan to drastically reduce Bangladesh’s matches in the next FTP.
‘The ICC’s future tour programme might give us less matches but there would not be such yawning gaps in between tournaments. I believe the situation’s not going to work against us,’ he said.
He brushed aside the claim that Bangladesh have not improved at all in the recent past.
‘The improvement is always there. Tamim is now hitting boundaries without going down the wicket, Junaed is playing pull shots, Sakib is playing pull shots with a better back lift, Ashraful is playing the cut shot which he didn’t do before and Rubel is bowling slow balls which are tricking batters,’ he pointed out
‘Bangladesh are a tough side to captain and coach as well. The captain does not have an Afridi to throw the ball to, doesn’t have a Jayasuriya to open the batting for him. No Malinga to bowl the last four overs. But this team has grown over time and that can be seen,’ he added.

Courtesy of The New Age


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