'Blame game will not help'
The Bangladesh national cricket team will return home from their long and devastating South Africa tour in the morning today. However, the players will have the opportunity to quickly shrug off that tiring experience as their attention should shift to the Bangladesh Premier League, which kicks off on November 4 in Sylhet, before they prepare for the home series against Sri Lanka in January.
Just like opener Tamim Iqbal, former national team captain turned selector Habibul Bashar also believes that the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) will need to launch a thorough investigation to root out the reasons behind the South Africa debacle because the question at hand is not only why they suffered a '7-0' defeat but rather why were their performances so poor in all aspects.
"There was something wrong somewhere and we must indentify it. It will not be good for our cricket if we don't examine everything but we must do it keeping aside all the emotional factors. I am not ready to accept that we failed because lack of ability. Many tried to say that this team is only good at home but I request them not to forget their performance in 2015 World Cup, ICC Champions Trophy and even in the New Zealand tour," said Bashar yesterday.
"The blame-game will not help us rather we need to dig deep to find the reasons behind why they played so badly when even the condition was not totally unfavourable. Was there anything wrong in selection? Had there been any deficiencies in preparation? Was there any psychological issue? Or whether we failed to overcome our long-lasting problem of suffering from the early mistakes or bad performances? We should ask all the questions without any hesitation and only then we can avoid such a poor showing in the future," continued Bashar.
Much has already been said about the bowlers' performances on the tour but Bashar added that he has yet to identify an answer as to why they even failed to do the basics out on the middle: "Believe me I am searching for answer why this team played so poor cricket in South Africa, especially it was surprising to see that our pace bowlers even failed to comply with the basics. I am not ready to accept that they were not sincere in practice because there was no chance to show any negligence in practice and I saw them practicing hard. Now the question is raised about their ability but why do we forget that in the last 2-3 years we praised these same bowlers.
"I don't think there is any scope to raise fingers towards any particular person or department. I don't think it will be fair to dismiss this team after just one series debacle but once again it would be unwise and suicidal if we fail to diagnose the debacle properly," he added.
In the end though, it was clear that the outcome of the series bewildered Bashar: "Okay, one player can go through off-form [patch], but how can an entire team!"