When Stuart Law met his new charges at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium yesterday, it was more than just smiles and handshakes. His brief with most of the national cricketers surrounding him centred on him being a hard, but fair guy.
Later during his first official press conference, it was along a similar theme; the former Australian cricketer said that his philosophy is to build a team and focus on stable relationships from the top and that he’d strive to remove doubts about the team.
“I believe the old adage which is so very true: team of champions is not always as good as a champion team. I’ve been in teams where we weren’t as talented as the next team but we helped each other and we did as well as we possibly could. We lifted the game of those who weren’t as talented,” said Law, who arrived earlier in the morning along with fielding coach Jason Swift.
“My philosophy is that you have to play as a team. It’s a team sport. I know it’s a lot of individuals in the team, if everyone works for the same goal, it makes life a lot easier,” he added.
Named the head coach by the Bangladesh Cricket Board on June 27, Law believes that stability and consistency will only come if the proper environment is created.
“The main reasons why you’re not consistent are when you’re not really sure of your role in the team.
“If I can have a great working relationship with the selectors, the captain, the board itself, the playing side will follow suit. It’s generally seen that if the top provide the most stable relationships and give the best environment, players will play better cricket,” he opined.
Law’s leadership quality is stellar. He’s helped turn around Queensland’s fortunes in Australia’s domestic cricket. He was the first Queenslander to captain his native side to a Sheffield Shield triumph.
When asked if he is ready for the mental challenge of probably losing more than his side will win, Law said he has gone through this before.
“When I played, I went through a lot of defeats. NSW used to beat us (Queensland) for fun. I’ve had defeat after defeat. I’ve lived it.
“Mentally, I’m prepared but I don’t believe we should think of getting beaten every time. In the next couple of years, I want the doubts in your mind to change. I want you to think we’re a force to be reckoned with,” he said.
It was also clear that Law has some idea what he’s about to deal with. In this current national setup, Shakib Al Hasan and Tamim Iqbal, Junaed Siddiqui, Rubel Hossain and Nazmul Hossain have come across Law as player during the Bangladesh A team’s matches against MCC and Lancashire. Apart from that occasion, Law, as Sri Lanka’s assistant coach since 2009, has travelled to the country and knows a thing or two of what he’s taking over.
“I’ve seen them play. They’re very talented. Maybe there are areas away from cricket which they need to improve.
“Maybe it’s not all about natural talent but a bit more mental toughness and self-belief. That’s what I can impart on them,” he said.
Law will join work tomorrow when the Tigers play another two-day warm-up game in Mirpur.
-With The Daily Star input