Bangladesh’s newly appointed head coach Russell Domingo appeared for his first press conference in front of the Bangladesh media with pace-bowling coach Charl Langeveldt at his side. Here is the transcript from the press conference:
What Domingo said in his first press conference -
How was the first session here?
Good to reach the ground quickly. I thought it would take around an hour and a half but we got there in 20 minutes.
Good to meet some of the players and some of the support staffs who are working with the players for a few days. So good to finally get here and start working with the boys.
Presentation of future plans
It's quite interesting that everybody talking about the presentation. Look I think because of working with different levels of cricket- under 15, 17, domestic cricket and then international cricket; I know how the feeder system works. The system is below the national side because arguably that’s where your players need to come from. So, I think I want to place a lot of emphasis on monitoring the players just beneath the national side. When there are opportunities to play some of those players, you need to take those opportunities. We need to give those players a bit of a ramp, the young players especially.
The gist of the presentation was that ‘guys, we have a good national team here, but we got to make sure we are developing the players just beneath the national side’
Thoughts about interest in Bangladesh cricket?
I think I came to Bangladesh for the first time in 2004 for the under-19 world. It was a long time ago, and the first thing that always strikes me is exactly that the number of people who are interested in Bangladesh cricket. From South Africa where, if you get to a press conference ahead of a big game you might get eight to nine reporters. I never seen so many as reporters in my life. I got to the airport yesterday and there were hundreds. It always strikes me that the passion for cricket in Bangladesh. It is the thing that attracted me to this part of the world.
After the World Cup and the Sri Lanka series, how difficult would it be to make them a team again?
I don't think they are a bad team because they lost in Sri Lanka. Touring straight after a World Cup is always going to be difficult. Sri Lanka probably had more to gain from it with a few players leaving, it was Lasith’s [Malinga] last game, [Nuwan] Kulasekara was given a farewell, so they had a bit more to prove. Bangladesh players, watching from the outside , who have just come off the back of a long World Cup maybe needed a bit more of a break.
I would not dwell much on the Sri Lanka series. I think they played really well in the world cup. They were really close to winning some of the games. Against New Zealand it maybe was a missed run out that cost them the game. So I don’t think they are very far off. The margin between winning and losing in international cricket is minimal.
I think the team is really close to becoming a real force in the world cricket. They just need to make the right decision at the right times on the right days.
World Cup performance...
The log will say they are seventh or eighth I think they played better than that. I have been in international cricket long enough to know that sometimes the result can hinge on a decision. It’s not always a fair reflection about where you are as a team.
There were a lot of positives to come out of the World Cup that they can build on going forward for sure. There are a lot of areas they can improve in, but there were a lot of positives they can take out of the World Cup."
We cannot expect Bangladesh cricket to adopt to us, we got to adopt to Bangladesh cricket. We got to find a way to make our systems and our processes work.
How will you manage time to watch domestic cricket...
Straight after our series against Zimbabwe and Afghanistan, I'm hoping to go to Sri Lanka to watch the 'A' side play in the middle of September.
It's impossible to watch all the cricket, there's no doubt about that. I've got to make sure I surround myself with people I can trust, selectors who are going to give me good inputs, connect with the high-performance coaches, with the 'A' side coaches, and find out who they think the best players are that we can invite closer to the national side."
Expectations from media and fans
We are looking forward to it. Look, I can comment only being a head coach of South Africa for five years. there was a lot of expectation. People always want to beat the opposition. the things are the same in Bangladesh. I am looking forward to it. I am really excited to get going and work with people, think about the selection and strategies. Once you are away from it, as I have been, you do miss it. I can comment from being the South Africa coach and the A team coach and I am sort of used to that expectation.
As coaches, we thrive on that type of pressure, we enjoy it. If we knew we are going to win every single game, it will be a boring job.
Fans come hard after losing...
[Laughs] South African fans are not different. I need to make sure to keep that noise away from the team and not get too distracted. And I hope you guys do write good stuff.
The immediate goal in Afghanistan Test and T20 series...
My immediate goal is to make some sort of connection with the players. Get to understand the players and build some relationships over the next week or two. I think that’s massively important. Try and gain their trust, see how the players go on with their work. It’s mostly an observatory role in the next few days to see how they go on with their business and take some learning from it
No improvement in Tests and T20s. Special plan?
Bangladesh played a last test six months ago. It is a long time. It's hard to get any sort of rhythm in your Test match cricket if you're not playing that many Test matches. With the new Test Championship, that allows a team to focus a lot more on Test match cricket. We know often Bangladesh play one- or two-Test series. Hopefully now there will be three-Test series, four-Test series, which gets them more into that format. A lot of that focus now needs to move away from the World Cup and the 50-over format into Test match cricket. So it will be a good start to put a lot more focus and emphasis on our red-ball skills in the next couple of months.