After the hurriedly taken decision of sacking Shakib Al Hasan and Tamim Iqbal from the posts of captain and vice-captain, the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) has been facing a dilemma in choosing their successors with the next home series against West Indies knocking at the door.
It’s now all but clear that the board has taken the decision whimsically, not only without examining in detail the reasons behind the Zimbabwe tour debacle, but also without having given any thought about what would happen next.
Except wicketkeeper-batsman Mushfiqur Rahim none can be considered for the hot seat as the places of senior players like Mohammad Ashraful, Shahriar Nafees and Abdur Razzak are not even assured in the playing eleven.
So, the man from Bogra is the most likely candidate for the captaincy. Interestingly the little man lost the vice-captaincy reportedly for the same reason for which Shakib and Tamim have been removed — an attitude problem.
And under these circumstances Mushfiqur’s words took special significance when he talked to the media yesterday at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur. Mushfiqur echoed the sentiments of his coach, Stuart Law, while talking about discipline in the team and Shakib’s captaincy, apparently raising questions about the merit of the board’s decision.
Mushfiqur showered praises on captain Shakib. “He [Shakib] is our key player and it’s always an advantage for a performer to lead the team. He was excellent as a captain and performed with the bat, ball and also he was superb in his fielding. He always motivated us as a captain,” said Mushfiqur.
The young man, whose batting was one of the few positives in an otherwise disastrous Zimbabwe tour, threw a challenge when asked about the issue of indiscipline in the team by saying, “You can understand how disciplined we are as a team if you travel with the other teams in the world. As our coach said we are the most disciplined side both on and off the field.”
From his position it was not possible for him to comment on the board’s decision and that’s why he said: “It was a board decision [to remove Shakib and Tamim] and we have to respect it. But as we repeatedly said we have been playing good cricket for the last two years, but we could not perform well in Zimbabwe.”
Mushfiqur was however clear about the reasons behind the poor showing in Zimbabwe despite the fact that the board made Shakib and Tamim the scapegoat for the failure.
“Our batting and fielding was poor and that was the reason behind the failure in Zimbabwe and I don’t think there was anything else other than that behind the debacle. There were some individual performances but as a team we could not perform well in the last tour, so our main target would be to perform well as a team against the West Indies,” said Mushfiqur.
He also said that he was little bothered about the whisperings that were going on about him becoming the new captain; instead he was focusing on the coming tour against the West Indies, who will arrive in Dhaka on October 4 to play one T20, two Tests and three one-day internationals.
“I am also hearing it from media but my main target is to perform well in the coming series and as a team we are also looking forward to the next assignment. I will try my best if it [captaincy] comes my way,” said a confident Mushfiqur.
-With The Daily Star input