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Team selection drama of BCB

Shakib-Tamim edges another superlative win for BangladeshSaleque Sufi

After disastrous two months of 2018 losing like novice in all formats at home in T20Is, ODIs and Tests, BCB embarked on a selection drama for the ensuing Nidahas Trophy Tri Nation Tournament 2018 in Sri Lanka scheduled to start from 6 March 2018.

Apart from hosts, two other contestants are India and Bangladesh. The tournament would commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Independence of Sri Lanka.

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BCB has announced a 16 members squad naming not yet fully fit Shakib Al Hasan as the captain.

The Squad
Shakib Al Hasan ,Tamim Iqbal , Soumya Sarkar , Imrul Kayes , Mahmudullah Riyad , Mushfiqur Rahim, Sabbir Rahman , Ariful Haque , Mehedi Miraz, Nurul Hasan , Mustafizur Rahman , Rubel Hossain, Taskin Ahmed , Abu Jayed , Abu Hider , Nazmul Islam.

BCB, during the immediate past Rocket Tri Nation Series, bilateral Test and T20I series, over experimented several players, many rookies leaving some tried and tested players resting or ignoring.

Zakir Hasan, Afif Hossain. Mohammad Mithun, Mehedi Hasan and Mohammad Saifuddin are omitted. Some of them were rushed to the team from Under 19 and now scrapped after one or two matches. It appears from the selection dilemma that selectors are totally confused.

Injury to one or two of the fabulous five (Mashrafe No longer available for T20) makes the team topsy turvy as not many international quality players are in the pipeline. BCB planning is so poor that there is no long term planning in place for graduating players from age group to national teams.

A Team and High Performance Squad hardly have any exposure of grooming for big league. Bangladesh Cricket has entered into a corridor of uncertainty.

Mashrafe expressed his intention for returning to Test cricket. But BCB thought otherwise. He was reportedly persuaded to return to T20I. Mashrafe is a type of person who cannot accept maltreatment. He would have responded to nation’s call if properly approached.

It is reported that BCB President would accompany the team. Let’s see what his presence in Colombo changes? Colombo has many Casinos, some of those are owned by Sri Lanka board chief.

Wonder why not even fully fit Shakib is risked for even one or two matches. Bangladesh is definitely not the favorite for winning the tournament. Risking Shakib in such situation may prove counterproductive.

Afif Hossain did exceptionally well in ICC under 19 Championship. He was rushed to national team and ignored after one match. Strong middle order batsman Zakir Hasan was blooded and thrown into opening slot straight away. He is also scrapped after one match. These players are the future of Bangladesh and must not be treated so shabbily like sacrificial goats.

Cricket admirers are questioning the recall of Taskin and Imrul Kayes as both are going through a lean patch. Taskin was struggling to find his length and line. Imrul is not a T20 specialist. His batting suits more to Test and ODI.

Mohammad Saifuddin is more adept than Taskin in T20 as poor mans’ all-rounder. Talented Mominul could be the most ideal number three batsman in all formats. The selection of out of form Sabbir is also questioned. Few other players like Mohammad Mithun or Zakir Hasan could be better bets.

Bangladesh’s record in T20I against India and Sri Lanka is heavily against their favor. India is sending weakened side resting Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhubaneswar Kumar, Kuldeep Yadav and Hardik Pandya. Still India is reasonably strong for lifting the trophy for availability of several high quality players in the reserve. Indian domestic cricket is much better managed than Bangladesh.

Sri Lanka is undergoing rehabilitation phase following retirement of several world class players (Kumara Sangakkara, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Mahela Jayawardena and unavailability of Lasith Malinga. But there unfinished pipeline of quality players coming out of organized domestic cricket has signaled their turning around. Their recent performance in Bangladesh indicated that Lankan lions are back in business again.

Head To Head In T20 International
India Vs Sri Lanka
Matches India Sri Lanka
14         10     04

India Vs Bangladesh
Matches India Bangladesh
05         05     00

Sri Lanka Vs Bangladesh
Matches Sri Lanka Bangladesh
09         07           02

It can be seen from above that Bangladesh has to rewrite the history if they have to win even a single match not to speak of winning the tournament.

Bangladesh has named Courtney Walsh as head coach. He was engaged with his bowlers and trying to mentor them. He has no past track records of performing as head coach. Why BCB could not find a coach? Why controversial Khaled Mahmud Sujon needs to remain in Team Management?

In any case team management especially the selectors have shown great impatience and immaturity in the recent past. When team performs the weaknesses remain hidden.
I would strongly recommend suspending selection committee and overall team management after this tournament whatever may be the outcome of the tournament.

Tournament Schedule

Date               Match Teams                            Stadium
March 6 ,2018 1        India Vs Sri Lanka           Premadasa Stadium Colombo
March 8, 2018 2        India Vs Bangladesh        Premadasa Stadium ,Colombo
March 10, 2018 3       Sri Lanka Vs Bangladesh Premadasa Stadium ,Colombo
March 12, 2018 4       Sri Lanka Vs India          Premadasa Stadium Colombo
March 14, 2018 5       India Vs Bangladesh       Premadasa Stadium Colombo
March 16, 2018 6       Sri Lanka Vs Bangladesh Premadasa Stadium Colombo

We hope BCB and its selection committee would have some accountability to someone somewhere It is ok losing one or few matches. But no one would expect Bangladesh entering a phase of continued diabolic performance and more so for novice team management.

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