• Sunday, December 21, 2014

Freedom in the air

Chandika's challenge

Bishwajit Roy
Bangladesh national cricketers resumed their camp after Eid with a two-hour long meeting with Chandika Hathurusingha (not in picture) at Mirpur yesterday where they were asked to explain their future goals. PHOTO: STAR
Bangladesh national cricketers resumed their camp after Eid with a two-hour long meeting with Chandika Hathurusingha (not in picture) at Mirpur yesterday where they were asked to explain their future goals. PHOTO: STAR

He is not like his predecessors. The new mentor of the Tigers, 45-year-old Chandika Hathurusingha, has already managed to impart this impression around the cricket fraternity through a reserved approach, unlike former long-term Bangladesh coaches Jamie Siddons and Shane Jurgensen.

His utterances upon his first encounter with the media and on a few other occasions were not marked by bluster and promises of sea changes; a refreshing attitude indeed.

Apparently the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) is intent on getting behind the new man's line of thinking, which is a wise move because long-term results can only be achieved if someone responsible for performance is given full authority to implement his vision. It would however be wiser for the Lankan to keep in mind that he is now going through a honeymoon period -- a phase that all previous coaches had experienced. The affair may not continue as sweet as it is now.

It would not be wise to expect that someone will bring changes overnight but their loyal supporters would love to see the team travelling in the right direction. Keeping Bangladesh on the right track is not an easy task because the problems faced by Bangladesh cricket are multi-faceted. One can hope that Hathurusingha has gotten some idea of that from the chaos surrounding Shakib Al Hasan's disciplinary issue.

He may start to feel the heat in his first real assignment with the team during the coming tour of West Indies. One cannot dismiss someone with a sub-continent background who established himself in a country like Australia and was praised highly by a stalwart like Kumar Sangakkara, but when it comes to expectations there is a gulf of difference between being in charge of a national team and coaching domestic teams, which was Hathurusingha's role in Australia.

So, he has a point to prove in his first assignment as head coach of a national team. Technically his first assignment was the home series against India but he only had an observer's role in that series. The Caribbean tour on the other hand will probably give him the real picture of the players under him and the management above. Some people in the board will not hesitate to sing a different tune if the team continues their poor showing, regardless of the bigger picture which for the moment is the next World Cup to be held in Australia-New Zealand.

BCB's management history is hardly encouraging, so he has a tough task ahead. Hathurusingha has to make sure that he has both short-term and long-term plans.

Many think that this Bangladesh team desperately need a hard taskmaster and they got it with the appointment of Hathurusingha, but the Sri Lankan must ensure that he is also a shrewd tactician.

Published: 12:00 am Sunday, August 03, 2014

Last modified: 1:17 am Sunday, August 03, 2014

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