The importance of reviving the High Performance Unit (HP) is once again being discussed in the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) as head coach Chandika Hathurusingha is placing emphasis on discarded national players who do not have any programme through which they can remain fit and in contention for national selection.
The once-successful programme had collapsed following Richard McInnes's departure in 2005 and in the last few years the board often said that they were going to revive it, but that is yet to come to pass.
“We had a meeting in the cricket operations committee today where all BCB coaches, including our head coach, were present. The coach emphasised on this kind of programme as he wants to keep the discarded players available for selection and felt that we must ensure that we will not only go for new talent but also take care of the older guys,” informed BCB's media committee chairman Jalal Yunus.
Players like Junaed Siddiqui, Shahriar Nafees and Rokibul Hasan have fallen off the radar, which the new coach believes is a loss for the national side. “A programme will run through the year where 10 top batsmen, 10 top bowlers who are not part of the national side will take part so that there will be no shortage of back-up players for the national side. True, this matter was discussed earlier several times but this time it will be implemented,” said Akram Khan, chairman of the cricket operations committee.
Under McInnes, the High Performance Unit had worked tremendously during the period of 2003 to 2005. Although initially the cricketers were not too pleased with the tough training regimes, ultimately it was the programme which nurtured players like Shakib Al Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahim.
Many players, including Shakib, have often spoken of restarting the programme but the BCB have so far failed to make it happen. “We will give our proposal in the next board meeting and I can assure you it will happen this time,” promised Yunus.
“Bashar has already been assigned to tour with the team as a selector and we felt that it would be better to give him the additional job as we are looking for a manager who has a cricketing background,” said Akram.
The team will leave for West Indies on August 13 to play three ODIs, one T20I and two Tests.