Former Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza has raised questions over the selection process of foreign nationals as coach of the Bangladesh team.
According to Mortaza, the time has come for Bangladesh cricket to start looking towards local coaches for the long-term betterment of the game in the country.
Mortaza expressed his views after a number of senior players in the Bangladesh team have made prominent decisions in recent times, leading to question marks over whether there are issues in the current management.
While Mahmudullah announced a shocking retirement from Test cricket, Tamim Iqbal has pulled out of the T20 World Cup. More recently, it was revealed that Mushfiqur Rahim does not want to keep wickets in T20s anymore.
Media reports on Monday quoted Bangladesh coach Russell Domingo as saying that Mushfiqur does not have the desire to play T20s any longer.
Earlier, Domingo caused a stir when he revealed, ahead of the series against New Zealand, that Nurul Hasan would keep in the first two matches, Mushfiqur the third and fourth, and that the best of the two would get the fifth match.
Domingo was slammed for his comments by Mortaza, who claimed the coach had disrespected a senior Bangladesh cricketer with his public comments.
In a recent Facebook status, Mortaza questioned the selection of foreign coaches over local ones. He wrote:
“When a coach is being recruited, by what process has the selection been made? Its my curiosity. So far I have worked with 9/10 coaches and I have seen every coach start their work in their own way, which is natural.
“But every time I have seen, every coach selects one or two players as his favorite and later captain, selectors argue with them about that issue and eventually the situation gets complicated.
“To prioritize those favorite player or players, a coach often starts to dislike some players. And some stages, some coaches even threaten to resign due to these issues. I have heard these type of words openly few times.”
Mortaza admitted that every coach has his favorites but in Bangladesh cricket everything seems to be happening in the open.
“My point is, a coach can prefer one or two player, that happens. I guess that’s natural and in every other country that happens as well. But I think in other country these kind of things don’t happen openly.
“Because only three four players don’t win you games. Even if that happens, you cannot underestimate one player for the sake of other player.”
“The most important thing is to understand our culture” – Mashrafe Mortaza
Mortaza further pointed out that once foreign coaches leave, Bangladesh cricket will be back to square one. He urged the cricket board to seriously think about someone who understands the culture of the sport in the country.
“These coaches (foreign) will leave one day and go back to their country or in IPL or in any other team with better offer… I think we made a mistake in the very early stage of selection. Because we always search high profile coach, which brings less effects often.
“We need someone who follows our cricket, or a person who does study on our players before coming to interviews. The most important thing is to understand our culture.
“Otherwise, he will not understand how a Shakib, Tamim, Mushfiq or Riyad has been developed as a player in this country. Or what contribution these players have made for Bangladesh cricket. Or how a player like Mustafiz has emerged.”
The 37-year-old Mortaza played 36 Tests, 220 ODIs and 54 T20Is for Bangladesh between 2001 and 2020. Bangladesh are currently leading the five-match T20I series against New Zealand 2-1.