NEWS ANALYSIS

A whimsical, amateurish BCB decision

Azad Majumder | Published: 00:00, Sep 23,2018 | Updated: 23:27, Sep 22,2018

 
 

Bangladesh Cricket Board took yet another whimsical decision by adding opening batsmen Imrul Kayes and Soumya Sarkar to the national squad for the reminder of the Asia Cup in UAE.
The decision was taken before Bangladesh completed their first Super Four match against India in Dubai on Friday once the team was bowled out for a meagre 173 runs.
The high-ups of the BCB were apparently annoyed by the poor batting display of the team, especially by some junior batsmen, who also failed in the previous game against Afghanistan.
Bangladesh were dismissed for just 119 runs against Afghanistan to suffer a crushing 136-run defeat as they fielded a under-strength side in what was essentially a meaningless contest.
The young group of Bangladeshi batsman, comprising Liton Das, Nazmul Hossain, Mohammad Mithun and Mosaddek Hossain, failed in both the games, which was mostly responsible for their two heavy drubbings at the hands of Afghanistan and India.
But their twin failure and the successive heavy defeats could hardly justify BCB’s decision to recalling Imrul and Soumya from a warm-up match in Khulna to the Asia Cup in UAE.
It was another amateurish decision that only demonstrated the club-level mentality of the officials, who even did not bother to consult the matter with all members of the selection committee.
Speaking to New Age on Friday, selector Habibul Bashar said he was not aware of the decision and hours later in Dubai, after the seven-wicket loss to India, skipper Mashrafee bin Murtaza said he was also not clear about the move.
Bashar led Bangladesh for good four years and Mashrafee has been captain of the side since 2014, so the two must be aware of the danger associated with such careless decision best suited in gully cricket.
Imrul and Soumya may well be successful in the remaining two matches of the tournament but that is unexpected to bring any good result for Bangladesh in the long run.
Before the Asia Cup started in Dubai, captain of all five major teams spoke about taking the tournament as a process of building a team for the World Cup in 2019 in UK.
It was more important for Bangladesh to follow the process than some other teams as they had several spots still unsettled with the World Cup not too far away.
Therefore, it was also important for the team management to back their players - who they believed would be part of their World Cup team- irrespective of how they had performed in the tournament.
It’s understandable that Liton, Nazmul, Mithun, Mosaddek could not fulfill the expectations of BCB officials but that did not make them a bad player overnight and Bangladesh also could not afford the luxury of completely abandoning them.
The best option for the BCB could have been giving them a few more chances, at least until the upcoming home series against Zimbabwe, in order to help them getting ready for international cricket in a proper manner.
Despite their sheer talent, it is clear that they are not yet ready to handle the pressure of international cricket and many independent observers believe that the BCB officials are equally responsible for their lack of preparedness.
Cricketers often improve their skill and temperament by playing and facing the crunch situation in domestic cricket but Bangladeshi players hardly get this opportunity.
Irregular schedule, biased umpiring and unsporting pitches rendered Bangladesh’s domestic meaningless competition, denying the players a chance of getting matured by playing there.
Sad but harsh reality is that Bangladesh players can only improve their maturity by playing series of repeated international cricket and this is a historically true fact.
Bangladesh’s current group of senior players has all gone through this phase before they established them in international cricket.
Expect for Mashrafee, the other members of widely regarded Fabulous Five- Tamim Iqbal, Sakib al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim and Mahmudllah- made their international debut around 2005-06 seasons.
But it took them three to four years before they finally could show their promise and it was not until World Cup 2015 they could perform that consistently.
It is unlikely for the BCB to give its young group of players this much time to deliver. But at the same it is also unfortunate for it to lose the patience on them so quickly.
Before looking back to Soumya and Imrul, who showed similar incapability not in a very distant past, the BCB ought to have given them enough chances.

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