‘There is a belief that the team can compete at the highest level’
Former South African player Gary Kirsten, who is being consulted by the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) as they look to appoint a new head coach and also plan for the upcoming World Cup, said that having talked to several cricketers and experts, he felt that there is a belief within the team that they can compete at the highest level.
Yesterday, Kirsten met with Mashrafe Bin Mortaza, Mushfiqur Rahim and opener Tamim Iqbal at Pan Pacific Sonargaon to talk about various aspects of the team. BCB president Nizamuddin Chowdhury had yesterday confirmed that Kirsten was acting with absolute freedom and was meeting up with people he wanted to meet to assess the Tigers. Today, Kirsten met with local cricket coach Mohammad Salahuddin and also selectors along with two other cricketers.
Under Kirsten, India won the World Cup in 2011 and captain MS Dhoni had once said that he was the 'best thing to happen to Indian Cricket'. He is no stranger to assessing big national teams and franchises and having spoken to few individuals, Kirsten was of the opinion that the Tigers have the potential and it was necessary to form a cricketing structure that can support the team.
"[Assessing] Every team is a big challenge but I think this team has great potential and it has had success against big team recently. It's a good group of senior players with some talented young players coming through. So, I think trying to create some stability within the group and making sure the coaching structures are in place [is the intention]," Kirsten said.
Having spoken to the players Kirsten got the idea that the players had the belief they can compete.
"I have no doubt that this team can compete at the highest levels and I think there is every intention to set some lofty goals in terms of what they want to do over the next 18 months or so.
"There is a belief that they can compete at the highest levels and as I said, they have a real goal to do really well," he added.
Kirsten also commented that his task was to help the board find the best coaches available for the team and also reiterated that he would be involved with the team in 'some capacity through to the World Cup'.