Shakil Kasem: Retired hurt
Wickets in the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) front seem to be falling fast. Two crucial exponents in the board have resigned inside three days. First to go was Rabeed Imam, who started his assignment in the board as the chief of it's official website tigercricket.com and later inherited the role of media manager. Rabeed attributed personal reasons for his resignation. But the truth, most suspect, lies somewhere else.
Second and more importantly Shakil Kasem tendered his resignation from his post as head of the GP-BCB National Cricket Academy on Saturday. Shakil decided to call it quits 'out of frustration'.
The effervescent Shakil, whose first venture as development committee chairman came to an abrupt end with the return of 'democracy' in the board, said that he was 'retiring hurt' this time around following his role as a nighwatchman in the previous occasion.
"Perhaps I'm not good at playing googly's," said Shakil to the Daily Star last night.
He was talking about the administrative equivalent of the wrong 'un in cricketing terms. But this particular word has a significant meaning in the BCB where internal politics is increasingly taking an ugly shape and people running the show are apparently making every effort to eject the committed and professional minds.
It is not easy to get the right man for the right job. And ask anybody. Everyone will say that these two recently departed were the 'best' in what they were assigned for.
BCB was fortunate to have got an enlightened man like the former cricketer Shakil Kasem to run the National Cricket Academy, a heartbeat for any cricketing nation. But it took only eight months before the man walked out due to 'frustration.'
Why this frustration? The answer is simple.
He was not allowed to do what he deemed to be good for cricket. Shakil, who possesses the rare quality to serve the game in any capacity, had first impressed many by his smart activities for the future cricketers as chairman of BCB's development committee two years ago.
But when it looked like he was putting things in order he was forced to leave. It was however refreshing to see him making a triumphant return in a different capacity.
But his latest departure only portrays the sordid state of affairs in the board, which is being run by the elected directors under the inept leadership of AHM Mustafa Kamal.
It was a noble gesture from cellular operators grameenphone, who came up with the financial assistance to build a two-storied building for the academy with all the necessary modern facilities in Mirpur. After a seemingly never-ending delay since the deal was done in March 2007, the dream finally came true last month and many termed the neat building just beside the home of cricket as a 'silver lining of the clouds'.
But what's the point to have a concrete structure if it is not furnished with all the components that will make it functional.
Shakil was reportedly crying out for that for a long time to re-launch the development committee's activities that has remained stagnant and thus disrupted the pipeline through which the country produced future cricketers.
But the problem with this incumbent board is not the lack of ideas, but following through on its implementation; they decided nearly five months back to reinstate the High Performance program through which Bangladesh reaped cricketers like Shakib Al Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahim. Practically speaking though, nothing has happened in this regard.
Shakil wanted everything including HP under one umbrella and he wanted a set of professionals to carry out the activities.
But the board seemed to have developed an allergy whenever there is a talk about professionals. And the recent activities of the board only gives an indication that they love to track back to those day when a few people talked about cricket over a cup of tea.
Mustafa Kamal, who holds a lot of other important post as a lawmaker of the ruling Awami League, had promised that he would ensure professionalism at BCB during his tenure when he took the helm of the country's richest sport's body in September last year.
But how can one believe in his words when he still failed to appoint a chief executive officer (CEO), the post that has been vacant for the last three years.
It's not sure how many more years it will take for him to appoint a CEO. But it is certain that he will continue o lose more dedicated professionals sooner rather than later.