The Bangladesh national team's technical director Khaled Mahmud said yesterday that there was no reason other than the players' 'poor showing' behind the defeat against Sri Lanka in the ODI tri-series and Test series.
The former national skipper became emotional during a long chat with reporters and at one point he also said that he was not interested to continue his job, but Mahmud repeatedly insisted that there was no scope to blame the Mirpur wicket except; it was just poor execution by the players.
“There was only one reason: we could not play good cricket,” said Mahmud. He was also not ready to accept criticism of the management as he believed that there was little for the management to do if the players failed to perform in the middle.
“We could not fulfil our expectations. We could have won the Test series but it did not happen. We failed to execute our plans. And above everything we failed to handle the pressure,” said Mahmud.
“I don't think the pitch played any role behind the defeat. We failed as we dropped catches. If you want to blame the pitch then there will be a question about our ability. Our batsmen failed to do their jobs. Simply put, we could not play good cricket. Panic, fear about the wicket or a negative mentality played a role. Don't make the pitch a scapegoat… bowling-batting wise, we failed,” he explained.
“If we could win against Australia and England then the pitch cannot be a reason for a defeat against Sri Lanka,” he continued. “Are Sri Lanka gods? Were their players gods? Were their batsmen like Steve Smith? Have all of their players played 200 Tests. Why can't we think that our players made mistakes,” asked Mahmud.
When asked about the difference in Chandika Hathurusingha's Sri Lanka, he said: “I think it's all about execution. Management doesn't play the game; it's the players who do that, so players have to execute the plans. What can you do if players fail to execute?
“I would not mind if they were not capable but they are capable and they have got the ability. And if you failed despite having the ability then there is an issue in mindset… nothing else. Approach, attitude on the field and thought process on the field… we lacked in all of those aspects.”
Mahmud also said that many things will be unearthed if there is an autopsy of the defeats. “I had high expectation with this team. I had a belief that with this team we could win the series. Yes, we were unlucky as we missed the service of Shakib [Al Hasan] as he is a very important player… many things will come out if we do the autopsy but I don't want to do this. There is no point in blaming the pitch… the most important things is we didn't play good cricket.”
Mahmud hoped that the players will bounce back with better cricket in the two-match T20 series but he stressed that they can do that only if they followed the right process.