A press release from the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) on the previous day confirmed that a press conference would announce the squad for the tri-nation T20I Nidahas Trophy in Sri Lanka on Monday at 12.30pm. The venue was mentioned as the media centre area of the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur.
But it was only at 3.30pm that a media boy informed reporters, who were watching the Abahani-Mohammedan clash in the Dhaka Premier League at the country's premier venue and eagerly awaiting the press conference, that BCB president Nazmul Hassan will hold the press meet at the reception zone of the BCB headquarters.
Hassan, flanked by chief selector Minhajul Abedin and other board officials, announced that they have appointed West Indies legend Courtney Walsh, the current bowling coach of the team, as head coach for the tour of Sri Lanka and explained the reason behind the decision.
He then informed that Khaled Mahmud, who was in charge in the last series at home, will act as manager, talked about Mashrafe Bin Mortaza's unwillingness to make a comeback in T20Is, the pending decisions on the batting coach and Mahmudullah Riyad's role as captain in the possible absence of regular skipper Shakib Al Hasan.
After Hassan, it was Minhajul's turn to explain the reasons behind the exclusions and inclusions in the 16-member squad.
But if the delay of the press conference without any explanation was the first sign of the chaos of the day then Hassan's comments on his involvement in team affairs and a few odd explanations from Minhajul, including one about the return of off-colour pacer Taskin Ahmed, only proved that the governance of cricket in the country has not been professional and that the team management is still clueless regarding their planning, much like the recent home series against Sri Lanka. If the delay was because of a long chat regarding Shakib's uncertain fitness it could easily have been done previously and the date and time of the press conference announced only after the decision was taken.
“I didn't pay much thought on player selection in the previous series because the responsibility was on everybody. What we did is decide on the squad and what can be the eleven…. we almost made it final…so there is the involvement,” he responded to a question about his involvement. “This time we named the head coach and secondly, I will stay in Sri Lanka to look after everything. I will accompany them all the time,” he added.
It could sound like a voice of a passionate supporter of the game but in no way can it be healthy for a team that a board president is involved in all affairs. This indeed depicts that the right men were not in the right places to run the show.
In all that chaos and confusion surrounding Bangladesh cricket, ODI skipper Mashrafe stood firm on his decision to stay retired from T20Is and not give in to the whims of the board.
Turning down all requests and diffusing all the pressure, Mashrafe depicted the characteristics of a true professional player. If only the BCB boss and his officials could take a cue.