Mashrafe Bin Mortaza was his usual funny self. Some other players also exchanged hellos. Banned Shakib Al Hasan was there too, but no one was allowed to talk with the media after the Tigers' training session at the BCB Academy ground in Mirpur yesterday.
But what could be noticed was the cohesion was not the there. It has become a habit nowadays that whenever the team faces any crisis, a media embargo is imposed on the players. And yesterday was no exception in their lead-up to Asia Cup campaign which starts tomorrow with the match against a wounded India at Fatullah.
A heartbreaking series against Sri Lanka, an ugly gesture from Shakib which earned him a three-match ban and 3 lakh taka fine, the injury to opener Tamim Iqbal that put Bangladesh in danger, and finally skipper Mushfiqur Rahim's outburst on team selection, forced the authorities to keep the players away from making further controversy.
Chief selector Faruque Ahmed was the most shouted-against man in the Tigers tent after skipper Mushfiqur raised his fingers towards him for not consulting him regarding picking the Asia Cup squad. But Faruque was not in town to heal the wounds of his captain ahead of a crucial battle.
The team desperately felt the need of his presence to solve the issue and it was a time when they needed a morale boost-up in order to stand any chance of making a turnaround against all odds. But unfortunately Faruque, along with his other colleague Habibul Bashar, chose a wrong time to travel abroad.
When asked, cricket operations committee chairman Akram Khan said: "It's a difficult question [if it's a wise decision to go on a pleasure trip at such a crucial time]. Anyway we will sit tomorrow [Tuesday] to settle the matter."
Nazmul Hassan Papon, the Bangladesh Cricket Board president, however said, while talking to reporters at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur, that in the current scenario he didn't feel good to hear the comments of Mushfiqur regarding team selection. "One can ask where [Mahmudullah] Riyad is. But in this series I don't think there was any other player except Riyad who could be changed. So if the question regarding selection is raised because of this change then it's unfortunate," said Papon.
"I talked with Mushfiqur but not on this issue. I asked him, 'Is his team getting scared?' He said no and I liked his answer," said Papon, adding that there was no scope for reducing the Shakib's punishment.