A question of culpability

The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) took a major decision at a time when all the focus was on magical Lionel Messi and Co.
It was a bolt from the blue when the game’s governing body on last Monday announced after the directors’ meeting that they removed Shakib Al Hasan and Tamim Iqbal from their posts of captain and vice-captain. And thus they apparently finished their job of finding the facts behind the Tigers’ debacle in the recently concluded tour of Zimbabwe where Shakib’s men lost both the one-off Test and five-match series. As the highest forum of the board, it has every right to take such a decision but the question of whether they could identify the real reasons behind the debacle or whether they were willing enough to discover the same, remains.
And questions have also been raised about the manner of the decision. It is very easy to make someone a scapegoat for a failure rather than to dig deep into the heart of the problem, and it seems that the board took the easiest option available to complete their duty, and in other words, to save their skins.
It was unexpected indeed when BCB president AHM Mustafa Kamal himself told the press during the tour that not the players but the board must take the responsibility for the debacle in Zimbabwe, but surprisingly he took a U-turn during the meeting to make sure a ‘whimsical’ decision had been taken in the absence of some important board directors.
Feelings of resentment against Shakib and Tamim had been building up in the board for some time and many were waiting for the day when they could be shown the door. Many believe the BCB boss could have played a major role in arriving at the root of the problem and take a wise decision after examining all the details, but he did exactly as the cynics say taking the most politically expedient path according to the situation faced.
Without any doubt lack of discipline was the major factor behind taking the decision of sacking Shakib and Tamim, undoubtedly the two best performers in the team, from their posts. But was it a new issue for this board? Of course not. There have been a lot of similar allegations against the two players for some time now and the number of occasions they breached discipline, but every time the board kept mum, at times defending the duo with ridiculous explanations, and handling the matters unprofessionally.
Even before the Zimbabwe tour Shakib committed a serious crime when he skipped training without any notice, but the authorities failed to appreciate the gravity of his misdemeanour.
So, why should the concerned authority at the BCB not be held accountable for their failure in managing these two vital players properly? Did the cricket operations committee perform their duties properly? If not, then why have they not taken the responsibility for the failure?
If the question is of discipline then this board is first to be blamed for the way its run under the leadership of Kamal. If there is an issue with the cliques in the team, then similar questions have to be raised about the current board where grouping is very much visible and stagnating the activities of the existing sub-committee, rendering them incapable of running the show properly.
And because of unhealthy and unprofessional activities within the board it was possible to take the hard line against Shakib and Tamim without any previous warning, reprimanding and imposing fine against them.
There has been a question about poor management, and who will take the responsibility for that?
If BCB was honest in their efforts to find out the real reasons behind the debacle, then they must form an independent inquiry committee as the reports from the officials of team management are not good enough and does not provide sufficient grounds for such a harsh decision. The board needs to take a holistic view into the problems plaguing the current setup before taking any decision regarding the failure in Zimbabwe.
Instead, by taking this decision BCB not only killed any chance of addressing the deeper problems but also proved that they were not ready to face the truth.
It’s really alarming the way the board is operating and many are already fearful of the prospect of the BCB following the path of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB). A fearful prospect indeed!

-With The Daily Star input

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