Shakib Al Hasan captains Bangladesh in Asian Cup, but BCB president is in charge and cricket is in chaos
The situation isn’t new for Shakib, but it won’t make things any easier.
The thing is, it all goes back to – and has for a while – Hassan in Bangladesh cricket.
The BCB has had a reputation for being indiscreet when it comes to team matters for over a decade, ever since AHM Mustafa Kamal became the head of the board in 2009, in fact. He liked to control everything related to the national team. Unwittingly or not, Hassan resumed the trait a few years after his reign. In nine years as head of the board, he has established that regardless of the coach or captain, Hassan and the board directors will make all the decisions.
So where does that leave Shakib, or Bangladesh cricket captains in general?
On August 19, Hassan was questioned about Shakib’s roles and responsibilities.
“Remember one thing, there is never a problem who is the coach when Shakib is captain,” Hassan said. “He decides the best XI. You should know that. He decides it himself. Of course, he follows the coach’s advice. But the coach also gives priority to the captain when it comes to the best XI. He probably explains the game plan that he can do it. Even if we don’t have a head coach, we will have Khaled Mahmud and Jalal Yunus.”
When asked on Monday how difficult it was to lead a team under such unique circumstances, Shakib sounded diplomatic. “Challenges exist everywhere, be it our team, franchise cricket or another cricket board,” he said. “There are varying degrees of this challenge, regardless of the size of the cricket board or the franchise.”
Play it safe? Sure. The way BCB has treated some captains in the recent past is warning enough, even for someone of Shakib’s stature.
Shakib will play cool. He hopes to engage constructively with the head of the board and the trustees, and get the team to focus on the issues on the ground, rather than Facebook Watch. Mashrafe revolved around a tough campaign at the 2015 ODI World Cup. It may be chaotic, but Shakib is hoping for a similar twist of fortune and will prove to the squad and board that he can carry through this chaos. If he can, he might be rewarded with some peace and quiet.