Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) president Nazmul Hassan Papon has said that the BCB has almost finalised a deal to bring South Africa legend Jonty Rhodes to Bangladesh for a short stint with as a fielding consultant for the Tigers.
The board is still in talks with Rhodes regarding the intricate details of the contract but it is likely that the South African could join the Bangladesh contingent for around a month sometime in the future.
Speaking to reporters in the capital yesterday, Papon said: “We will focus more on fitness. We are in the process. We already have discussed and almost finalised the decision to bring Jonty Rhodes and people like him. We will need to have a special focus on physical fitness because we have many away tours this year.
“I don't know if they will all come, but we have contacted them, they have shown interest. We are very serious about the physical fitness aspect,” he added.
When asked as to how Rhodes's role would be different to that of Richard Halsall, who joined the Bangladesh camp as their fielding coach before getting promoted to the position of assistant coach, he said: “When a player dives, why does he have to get injured? If Jonty Rhodes comes and makes them dive 10 times daily, then maybe the players will get used to it a bit and if they don't they will keep getting hurt.
“We will do one more thing. We will devise a process by which we can monitor the players even when they are away from the camp. When there's a camp, players are serious and physically fit, but when they go back home, they get relaxed,” explained Papon.
Bangladesh's next assignment is expected to take place in Hyderabad in India where they will be taking on the hosts for a lone Test. With the Indian Supreme Court having compelled the Board of Control for Cricket in India to make several changes, there have however been doubts regarding the venue of the Test in the last few weeks.
With regards to that, Papon said: “There will be a warm-up game, but the venue is yet to be finalised. As for the Test, that will take place for sure, and as of now it's supposed to take place in Hyderabad. If it takes place anywhere else, we have no problem.”
Papon also spoke on the arrest of Bangladesh spinner Arafat Sunny who, accused of threatening a 23-year-old woman online, was denied bail and sent to jail yesterday. He said that if proven guilty in court, Sunny would be banned by the BCB.