The Bangladesh Cricket Board appointed wicketkeeper Mushfiqur Rahim the new national captain and all-rounder Mahmudullah his deputy for back-to-back home series against West Indies and Pakistan ending speculations that had been rife for weeks.
The decision was unanimous at a BCB meeting which spares very little time to make the appointment after cricket operations committee forwarded the names of Mushfique and Mahmudullah for the posts.
The duo replaced Sakib al Hasan and Tamim Iqbal for the twin series in October and December. Sakib and Tamim were sacked ignominiously following a disastrous tour of Zimbabwe in August.
Bangladesh lost a one-off test to Zimbabwe, returning to cricket after a six-year exile, as well as the one-day series.
Mushfique was the frontrunner to replace Sakib after he had hit the form in Zimbabwe, but many were still sceptical about him as the former BKSP boy did not have a very good disciplinary record.
He was sacked as vice-captain after a tour of England last year on specific allegations levelled by the then manager but the BCB finally left it behind and opted for him without any serious debate.
‘This was a unanimous decision of the board,’ BCB media committee chairman Jalal Yunus told reporters. ‘The BCB president and chairman of cricket operations committee have spoken to both cricketers [Mushfique and Mahmudullah] and they have accepted the roles,’ he added.
His record as the captain of the Bangladesh Under-19 team also acted in his favour. He led the team to quarter-final in the World Cup 2006, which is still the best success for Bangladesh at junior level.
‘I am fully aware of the expectations of the entire nation and I will be totally committed towards ensuring that the Bangladesh team strives towards fulfilling the dream of millions,’ Mushfique said in a statement.
The wicketkeeper-batsman later appeared in a press conference at the BCB office to give his reaction to the appointment.
‘I was at home watching a game when the BCB president called me and said that I would be leading the team. It felt nice as I also saw my name on television immediately,’ Mushfique said.
‘It is a big responsibility and I hope to put in whatever efforts I can. It is a big challenge, more so because we could not perform to our potential in the last tour.
‘I always dreamt that someday I will lead the country and I am happy that it has come true.
‘I was the vice-captain earlier. So I always had it in mind. When I captained the Bangladesh Under-19 team, it was also at the back of my mind that someday I will lead Bangladesh,’ he said.
Mushfique said that his main task would be helping the side to perform as a unit.
‘My main task is to see
that we perform as a team. There will be one or two key performers but others will have to contribute so that the team is benefited,’ he said.
The new captain also sought full cooperation from his predecessors.
‘Sakib and Tamim are the key performers. They are mature and professional. I expect that they would help me a lot and I will also help them. I can give you an assurance that the team environment will be better than what it was before,’ he said.
‘My philosophy is that the team does not have to think of me as a captain. They should rather treat me as a friend who can support them and I want to give them this comfort,’ he added.
-With New Age input