Bangladesh captain Mushfiqur Rahim has said that the draft proposal formed by India, England and Australia -- which threatens to hurt Bangladesh's Test future by placing them in a second tier -- has been playing at the back of the players' minds.
“This is a big issue and one does feel bad. But it's not in our hands and we can't do anything about it. Ultimately if this does happen (if the proposal is passed) then what's the point of working so hard?” said Mushfiqur. “People play cricket to end up playing Test cricket. And it will be sad if we can't continue (playing in the top flight). We have played consistent cricket for the last two years and we do not have to prove anything,” he added.
The captain also stated that the issue has been cropping up in the dressing room.
“Discussions do take place, and it does feel bad. It is obviously there at the back of the players' minds. Hopefully everything will be fine and hopefully we can continue to play,” Mushfiqur added.
Ace allrounder Shakib AL Hasan also spoke on the matter, and while he stated that his game will not be affected by the controversy surrounding the draft, he did share a similar sentiment.
“I can only speak for myself and it's not at the back of my mind. And it should not be because we are starting a series in two days' time,” said Shakib.
“It's a sensitive issue. My personal opinion is that yes I want to play all formats of cricket. No matter how that happens, what rule it takes place under, if we can play regular Tests, ODIs and T20Is then I don't think it will be an issue. I want to play, that's all,” he added.
Controversy erupted when the issue was discussed in the Bangladesh Cricket Board's (BCB's) last board meeting. Following the meeting, a director stated that a majority of the board were for the proposal. However, ever since then the BCB dramatically denounced the director's statement and announced that they were against the two-tier policy of the draft but were yet to state their opinion on the remaining aspects of the proposal.
Regardless of the BCB's final decision, the captain feels that the players deserve a say in this matter. “At the end of the day we play on the field and if there's a decision we have to face the consequences. Hopefully those who are responsible for this decision will take a decision for the country's good,” said Mushfiqur.