Bangladesh Cricket Board media committee chairman Jalal Yunus weighed in on the controversy surrounding Shakib Al Hasan yesterday, saying that the T20I and Test captain was party to the decision of being named the captain in the squad for the first of two T20Is against Sri Lanka. The controversy arose when on February 11, the day following the announcement of the squad, Shakib told reporters that the finger injury that ruled him out of the Test series had not healed yet and that he would not be playing the T20I series.
“As far as I know, Shakib knew himself that he could play and he was kept in the team because of that,” Yunus told reporters after a meeting of BCB officials with the CEO Nizamuddin Choudhury in Mirpur yesterday. “This decision was taken by the selectors and Shakib and it was taken after talking to Shakib.”
With there being no official word yet about whether Shakib will play -- and the cricketer himself posted a photo of a swollen and stitched-up finger on social media yesterday – Yunus nonetheless informed that a stand-in captain will be named by today.
“The cricket operations chairman will talk to the president today, so you will know today or tomorrow [Tuesday] about the captain,” said Yunus and when asked whether it will be Tamim Iqbal or Mahmudullah Riyad, he said: “The options are very few, as you know, so the captain will be one those guys.”
The main agenda of the meeting yesterday, according to Yunus, was the appointment of a new coach for Bangladesh, who are without one after Chandika Hathurusingha quit his post in November last year.
BCB president Nazmul Hassan had said before the series that the senior players would act as a coach, but the seniors themselves seem to be unwilling to pursue that line further. “A few days ago some senior players were saying that we need a head coach as soon as possible. We are trying through various avenues and sources to get the type of coach that is needed by Bangladesh, which is why it is being delayed.”
While saying that they have former Australia batsman Michael Bevan and South Africa batsman Neil McKenzie in mind for the role of batting coach, Yunus said there was a very 'slim chance' that they – or indeed a head coach -- will come on board before Bangladesh's next assignment – the T20I tri-series in Sri Lanka next month. Instead, one of the coaches in charge for the current series will oversee the next assignment, Yunus added.