Tigers can't write
The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) yesterday issued a directive asking all members of the national team and those associated with the team to refrain from writing columns in newspapers during the World Cup, the BCB media committee chairman Jalal Yunus told The Daily Star. The decision was taken because of the controversy stirred up by current players' reactions to former players' criticism of the team's capitulation for 58 against the West Indies in their World Cup encounter last Friday.
A letter was sent out to all the team members and support staff with the details of the moratorium and a reminder to observe protocol when speaking to the media.
According to sources close to the unfolding events, a ban was supposed to be imposed before the World Cup started, but it did not come to pass. Recent events seem to have forced the BCB's hand.
Shakib and his team are not legally bound to stop writing, but BCB as their employers can stop them. BCB CEO Manzur Ahmed said that the existing contracts do not have a clause to bar cricketers from writing, but new contracts will include such clauses.
Bangladesh's loss to the West Indies, a reversal that has severely dented their quarterfinal hopes, has led to former players criticising the team's batting on television talk shows and comments to the media.
"It's a combination of overconfidence and irresponsible batting. West Indies did not bowl any great. They just maintained the basics which our players could not. You cannot expect to win matches with the help of pitch and bowling every day," former captain Aminul Islam Bulbul told Reuters on the day following Bangladesh's debacle.
"They knew crowd would support them anyway. So there was no pressure at all on them," another former captain, Khaled Mahmud said. "I am sure a decent total would do the job for them against West Indies. They just needed to be responsible. But nobody cared for it."
On Sunday, Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan expressed his disappointment at the comments in his column for Bangla daily Prothom Alo, highlighting the failures of the past players. "I don't think there are former players in Bangladesh who have not faced such a humiliation. We have faced such a situation once or twice, but there are former cricketers who have been in such situations often. So everyone needs to think before talking.
"I am not saying that every former cricketer is trying to run us down. There have been some who have lent out a supporting hand. That has been our biggest boost," Shakib wrote.