We are not here to change the world: Domingo

Staff Correspondent | Published: 00:00, Aug 22,2019

Russell Domingo

Bangladesh cricket team’s new head coach Russell Domingo (C) shares a light moment with batsman Souyma Sarkar (L) as strength and conditioning coach Mario Villavarayan looks on during a training session at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium on Wednesday.— BCB photo

New Bangladesh head coach Russell Domingo on Wednesday emphasised more on building connections with the players which he believed would help him to gain their trust.

‘My immediate goal is to make some sort of connection with the players, to understand the players, build some relationships over the next week or two,’ Domingo told reporters in his first official press-conference in Mirpur.

‘I think that’s massively important. Try and gain the players’ trust, see how the players go about their work. It’s very much an observatory role the next couple of days, to just see how they go about their business and take some learning’s from that,’ he added.

Domingo, who arrived in Dhaka on Tuesday, was surprised to see the number of journalists attending his press conference on his first day at work, but considered it as an indication of Bangladeshis’ passion for cricket.

‘The thing that strikes me each time is exactly this, the number of people that are interested in Bangladesh cricket,’ he said.

‘I’m from South Africa where, if you get to a press conference for a big game, there may be eight to nine reporters. I’ve never seen this many reporters in my life. I got to the airport and there were so many cameramen, it was crazy. So the passion has always struck me about Bangladesh cricket.

‘You always see people dressed up in tiger suits, the supporters at the ground, there’s definitely massive support for the team. That’s probably what attracted me to this part of the world,’ he added.

Domingo is facing a race against time to prepare the wounded Tigers, who haven’t enjoyed much success in recent times, to prepare them for their next mission in September when Afghanistan and Zimbabwe will tour Bangladesh.

Bangladesh will host a one-off Test series against Afghanistan from September 5-9 before they take on Afghanistan and Zimbabwe for a tri-nation Twenty20 tournament from September 13-24.

The South African insisted that he along with the new coaching set-up had to cope up with the system of cricket in Bangladesh so that they can fit in the with the cricket culture in this part of the world.

‘For me, we are not here to change the world. That cricket is always played in the sub-continent. We can’t expect Bangladesh cricket to adapt to us, we’ve got to adapt to Bangladesh cricket. And we’ve got to find a way to make our processes and our systems work with the cricket organisation and with the players,’ he said.

‘So we might need to alter the way we go about things to fit in with the culture more so than the culture changing to fit in with us,’ he added.

Domingo claimed that he was very much aware of the feeder system as he had vast experience of it in his country and wanted to work with the players beneath the national team who would bring Bangladesh success in the coming years.

‘Because I have worked at a lot of different levels of cricket, from Under-15 to Under-17 to domestic cricket to international cricket, I think I am very aware of how important feeder systems are,’ he said.

‘That’s where your next tier of players come from. I want to place a lot of emphasis on monitoring the players just beneath the national side, and when there are opportunities to play some of those players, you need to take those opportunities.

‘And it can’t be for one or two games, you need to try and give players a little bit of a run. Young players especially, so they can find their feet in international cricket. So I think the gist of the presentation was that, that we’ve got a good national side but it’s important that we are evaluating the players just below the national side to sustain the success of Bangladesh cricket,’ he added.

The former South African coach also expressed his interest to work with different level teams of Bangladesh and wanted to have trustworthy people around him.

‘After our series against Zimbabwe and Afghanistan, I’m hoping to go to Sri Lanka to watch the A side play – the A side has a tour to Sri Lanka in the middle of September and I’m hoping to watch them in those games,’ added Domingo.

‘It’s impossible to watch all the cricket, there’s no doubt about that. I’ve got to make sure I surround myself with people I can trust, selectors who are going to give me good inputs, connect with the high-performance coaches, with the ‘A’ side coaches, and find out who they think the best players are that we can invite closer to the national side.’

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