Bangladesh national cricket team gathered for the first time after their Eid break at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium yesterday afternoon. The players, including suspended all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan, first went through a gym session and then attended a two-hour long 'conversational' class with head coach Chandika Hathurusingha and the rest of the team management.
A move generally unheard of, the players were divided into four groups by Hathurusingha and were asked questions regarding their thoughts on the future of the team. Questions such as where they believed Bangladesh would be five years from now or what they believed their team was capable of doing in the upcoming World Cup were some of them.
According to an insider, the exercise was organised in order to instil self-belief among the players. "It was basically to get the direction of team and to know their expectations. The players needed to figure out their common goal and their vision going forward. The target had to come from the players and not something that was imposed on them," the source said.
Despite the long duration of the session, the players seemingly enjoyed it.
"It was an interesting session mainly because I never attended such one. Yes it was two hours long but we were not bored. All the groups had positive answers and some of them were common as well.
"So that was a sort of a revelation… to know that we all have similar aims and that it can bind us together," said a player.
"We were also told that we had to be more specific with our training. Just merely going into the nets and batting for ten minutes is not enough. We need to address our weaknesses," added another.
While Hathurusingha and his team were unavailable for any official comments, the exercise seemed to be a way to unite a team that has been struggling on the field this year.
A 15-member ODI team will leave for the West Indies on August 13. The Tigers will play three ODIs, one T20I and two Tests in the Caribbean.
The first ODI will begin on August 20. The Test team for the tour has not been announced as yet.