The Bangladesh Cricket Board bade farewell to the outgoing national coach Jamie Siddons on Tuesday after it had decided not to renew the contract of the Australian.
The board president, AHM Mustafa Kamal, hosted a lunch at the BCB office in his honour, before an executive committee meeting, where members of the press were invited.
No members of the national cricket team, however, attended the programme as they were holidaying after an international season.
Siddons’s term will expire on June 30 but he is planning to leave next week as Bangladesh have no games to play in the coming days.
The coach arrived at the programme in casual dress and soon realised his mistake as the BCB arranged a formal farewell for him. He was presented with a bouquet, a crest and a dinner set.
The coach was apologetic and emotional in the programme, attended by a host of BCB directors.
‘The time I have spent in Bangladesh was unbelievable,’ said an emotion-choked Siddons.
‘I thank BCB for giving me the opportunity to work with the Bangladesh team. I will never forget Bangladesh,’ he said.
The Australian thanked the players for providing him with support during his time in Bangladesh that had many ups and down. Bangladesh beat West Indies in both Tests and one-day series in 2009 before completing a 4-0 series sweep against New Zealand.
They never lost any series to Zimbabwe, their perennial rivals, during his stint as coach for three years and a half.
They also defeated England in a one-day game in July 2010 to complete a
circle of winning at least one game against every major opposition, which was seen as a great success of the Australian.
‘I got support from the majority of the players but not all and that was not possible either,’ said Siddons.
‘We played some amazing cricket and performed badly in the World Cup especially in the two matches and I don’t have an answer for that,’ said Siddons, referring to Bangladesh’s 58 and 78 all out against West Indies and South Africa in the tournament.
Siddons made it clear that he was not given a team of his choice despite asserting that he had always maintained a good relation with selection committee, headed by former cricketer Rafiqul Alam.
‘We had debates over the squad but at the end we tried to put the best 15 players available,’ said Siddons.
Siddons emphasised improvement in the overall cricket structure of Bangladesh and said that the country needed more players like Tamim Iqbal and Sakib al Hasan if they wanted to be a serious threat for major oppositions.
‘We need to work on rectifying our errors and the current result of the Academy and the A team suggest we have quite a few,’ Siddons said.
‘I think we need to have better players than Tamim and Sakib if we really want to challenge the big team and the academy coach needs to work on it,’ he said.
The board president praised the efforts of Siddons and said Bangladesh had moved forward under his guidance.
‘I was extremely lucky to have been able to work with him for a year and a half and I saw he was extremely passionate about Bangladesh cricket,’ Kamal said. ‘The standards of our cricket have improved because of him.’
Siddons took the charge from his compatriot Dav Whatmore in November 2007 and guided Bangladesh to two Tests and 31 one-day international wins. During his time, Bangladesh, however, did not win in any Twnety20 internationals.
Courtesy of New Age