Mashrafe Mortaza, the former Bangladesh skipper, insisted that Bangladesh Cricket Board should have been more patient with the cricketers during the ongoing T20 World Cup as he felt players were unable to handle pressure from the board.
BCB president Nazmul Hasan had come down heavily on the team after their opening-match defeat to Scotland in the Qualifiers. Nazmul’s outburst seemed to have an impact on the dressing room atmosphere and skipper Mahmudullah didn’t hold back his emotions after they secured their berth in the Super 12s, stating that it was unfair to raise questions over the players’ commitment.
Nazmul then shot back at skipper Mahmudullah for his ‘emotional outburst’, saying that he never questioned the players’ commitment. All these exchanges happened before Bangladesh started their campaign in the Super 12s, which according to Mortaza had an impact on the players performances as Bangladesh were eliminated following four straight defeats.
“The players succumbed to the pressure that came from the board's criticism,” Mortaza was quoted as saying in leading Bengali daily Prothom Alo on Thursday (November 4).
“Cricketers try to find solace in the cricket board during bad times. BCB should have been more patient. If a player doesn’t do well, you can drop him after the tournament but as long as they are in the tournament, it is better not to talk about them.
“The cricket board sent this team to the World Cup. You can’t change the squad if someone does badly. You have to show patience. If you don’t have that patience, you should have realised much before if this is your best team or not. When the coach, captain, selectors and board have all agreed this is the best team, you have to be patient with the team,” he said, adding that BCB can take a lesson from BCCI in the way they handled the situation despite India losing their opening two games in the showpiece event.
“Nobody from their board (BCCI) says anything about the team's poor performance, despite what is being said in the mainstream media and social media. This is because they know what to do next,” he said.
Apart from Mahmudullah, Shakib Al Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahim, the other two senior cricketers, also hit back at the critics during the tournament, though Mortaza believed it could have been handled differently.
“When players aren't doing well, nobody will receive their words kindly. All they can do is play better in the next match. Players don’t really need to say much. They have to play well to get out of their bad times, which is why there should be coordination between cricket board and players,” he said.
Mortaza was also critical of head coach Russell Domingo, stating in a Facebook post that the team management was a “rehab centre” for unemployed South African coaches. Mortaza said Domingo should be accountable the team's performances as he failed to deliver as the head coach.
“The coach has to take responsibility. I don’t think he had a particular plan for the World Cup. My question is: why does the new coach always experiment with our team? Why does the cricket board agree to it? I think the coach should be held accountable, even when he is given the freedom to do his work. When there’s no accountability, when their salary is guaranteed for the next six months, the coaches don't care about anything. I think we have to think about the coach now,” he said.
BCB has extended Domingo’s tenure for two more years, with the South African having already signed the contract papers after the match against West Indies.