Bangladesh's dismal run in international cricket this year led to the Bangladesh Cricket Board's (BCB's) directors discussing the possibility of introducing a split-captaincy policy. One of the points of discussion during the board meeting last week was regarding the possibility of Mushfiqur Rahim shouldering too much stress. Questions were also raised regarding the captain's strategy in a number of ODIs this year.
As an alternative some of the directors suggested that a different ODI captain be named, with pacer Mashrafe Bin Mortaza leading that front.
While the policy is not finalised as yet, there have already been several opinions on the issue among the cricketing fraternity.
Former national captain Khaled Mashud is against the policy and believes that merely changing the captain cannot turn things around for Bangladesh.
“I am personally happy with the way Mushfiqur captained. I don't think there is any point blaming him. When the entire team is not performing there's no point even if you bring Mahendra Singh [Dhoni] to lead the side. None of the players have performed well,” said Mashud.
“Yes, Mushfiqur may have made mistakes [strategic] but I believe that's because none of the other senior players are managing to provide him with enough ideas to implement. So there are times when he has to do things alone. The other players need to take part in this aspect,” he added.
“Countries like India and Australia have many senior players. Do we have someone who can lead apart from Mushfiqur? Sure Mashrafe is available. But is he fit enough to take charge? He has a separate pressure all together,” said Mashud.
On the other hand, former national captain Roquibul Hasan believes that a split-captaincy would be good for the national team as it would relieve some pressure off Mushfiqur.
“I think it will be a positive move if it happens. Mushfiqur currently is a three-in-one player. He is technically the side's best batsman. When you're the captain and the best batsman of a side that is struggling with it's batting, that's a heavy toll,” said Roquibul.
“Like in the last ODI he missed a sitter (stumping). The present day scenario shows that every team follows a different line-up in the different formats,” he added.
However, like Mashud Roquibul believes that an alternate captain will be hard to find.
“Presently Mashrafe is an automatic choice if he is fit. But the selectors should look into this matter and start grooming a future captain from now on. He should not just be a good batsman, but also have a good brain, strategy and be someone who can face the media,” he said.
Echoing Roquibul's thoughts, chief selector Faruque Ahmed believed that such a change 'would not be a bad idea'.
“In a majority of the countries they have separate captains for all the formats. What happens is that the pressure is shared. I think apart from India most of the countries are doing this. It won't be a bad idea,” said Faruque.