David Dwyer's sudden resignation as the head strength and conditioning coach of the national team did not exactly create a stir in the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB). While the chairman of the BCB's cricket operations committee Akram Khan stated that they were in the hunt for an immediate replacement, that hint of urgency that generally occupies the BCB's headquarters after a sudden departure seemed absent in this case.
Speaking to The Daily Star, the Australian stated that he left with a possible opportunity of working with Olympic athletes.
“Some other job opportunities have opened up at home and I am planning to take them up. One of them might include working with Olympic athletes for Rio in 2016,” said Dwyer.
While Dwyer believes that the national team is in good hands under the current management, he did speak on the need for more stress at the grassroots.
“I think we are on the right track. We are improving but yes we have some way to go to catch up with the other international teams, the quality of the staff is really good. They have the likes of Stuart Karppinen, Shane Jurgensen, Corey Richards and several others. They are getting some really good members,
“But your fitness at the end of the day is as good as your grassroots. The national team's facilities may be really good, but at the end of the day youngsters should be trained right from the time they hit 13 or 14,” he said.
While Dwyer's issue may never make the headlines the way the former Sri Lanka coach Paul Farbrace's departure to England has, the fact remains that his resignation may deeply hurt a national team that continues to struggle with fitness issues.
It is an open secret that a majority of Bangladesh players face an uphill battle when it comes to maintaining their fitness levels.
On the field one of the most obvious ways of judging a team's overall fitness levels is by analysing their fielding and Bangladesh, in the recent past, have been more than just wayward in this aspect.
The two Tests and the three ODIs against Sri Lanka earlier this year saw them drop at least 15 catches, which led to the hosts giving away at least 400 and 176 runs in each of the formats that series.
The negative effect that those matches had on the national team after the series was there for the world to see; Bangladesh went down to Hong Kong in the first round of the ICC World Twenty20 and followed that with a disastrous campaign. Reckless fielding may not have been the only issue in their debacle, but it definitely was an important one.
In order to improve fitness levels Dwyer designed a programme last year, through which the players' competence would be measured by various tests; something which the team management believes will help the players in the long run.
While the likes of Karppinen and physio Vibhav Singh are no doubt capable of continuing the programme, a new head could also lead to starting all over again. One of the challenges for the board will be to see to it that work already done is not allowed to go to waste.
Another programme which the management wanted to begin in the last year, but was later denied by the board, would have given the BCB a stronger hold on the players' fitness levels by introducing an incentive-based model.
Explaining the concept a board member said that if the proposal was passed, the players would have to maintain their fitness levels to a certain degree in order to prevent a cut in their salary; there would also be rewards for the best performers.
With the 2015 World Cup just ten months away, it is time for the board to pull up their socks and find either a replacement or a strategy that can improve the fitness levels of their players, lest they want to suffer yet another embarrassment on the world stage.