'Place strong measures'
Thousands of miles away from the controversies that have rocked Bangladesh's cricket over the last two weeks, head coach Shane Jurgensen was spending some rare family time in Australia when news of Mohammad Ashraful's confession reached him.
It compelled him to break away from holiday mode and begin calculating the effect that the incident may have on his team. “I immediately went -- Oh no! Disbelief, disappointment both for Ash (Mohammad Ashraful) and as we move on from the initial shock now I have disappointment for the team because we have been batting well and he has been an important player for us,” Jurgensen told The Daily Star in an e-mail exchange.
Terming the revelation as 'shocking', the Australian felt that a premature end to the player's career would be a loss for the national team. “Ash is an icon player for Bangladesh and is very popular around the world. He has been batting very well recently and I have enjoyed working with him and observing his high level of skills and experience around the team. That type of player you don't replace overnight,” wrote Jurgensen.
He however, felt that the board would have to place strong measures to tackle such issues. “This whole situation also has further dramatic affects on the game in many other areas and on different levels of cricket in Bangladesh. So it is really important that we learn from the ICC investigation and place strong measures to prevent this situation from occurring again in the future.”
Reflecting on former Bangladesh coach Jamie Siddons's comment regarding Ashraful; that it was the player's familial burden that forced the latter to get involved in the fixing scenario, Jurgensen stated, “I am not completely aware of Ash's family situation. However if there is any extra pressure this can sometimes create bad judgment or bad decisions from anyone. I have heard of similar situations with other players supporting their families.”
The Australian, who is set to return to the country on June 10, however hoped that the national team could start afresh and concentrate on the upcoming series. “Everyone has had a nice break after a busy last two tours and a long cricket season. June 13 will be the start of a crucial fitness focus period for us,” he wrote.