When the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) announced a 22-member preparatory team for the tour of New Zealand -- which included two players who were drafted in as part of the developing plan -- on Friday, it was all but confirmed what the plans for the series were.
It appeared evident who would be playing the series, which comprises three ODIs, as many T20Is and two Tests in New Zealand after the preparatory camp in Sydney -- where the selected players will be based after the completion of the ongoing Bangladesh Premier League (BPL).
Chief selector Minhajul Abedin's opinion in different newspapers regarding some players' inclusions and omissions only served to make things clearer.
So, agree or not, the think-tank have made up their minds regarding the series. The 'forward-looking' approach from the think-tank saw experienced players like all-rounder Nasir Hossain and pacers Rubel Hossain and Al-Amin Hossain make way for players like Tanveer Haider, Mosaddek Hossain, Shuvagata Hom, Shubhashis Roy and Mohammad Shahid.
We are not arguing why seasoned campaigners like Nasir, Rubel and Al-Amin were not given the chance to travel with the team to Australia because the chief selector has already explained the board's stance by saying they picked the best available players. Nor are we keen to remind everyone what kind of setbacks our cricket has suffered when we neglected experience.
Our only question is: were captains Mashrafe Bin Mortaza and Mushfiqur Rahim -- or if we want to extend that vision, the core group of players -- part of that 'forward-looking' plan?
Were there any discussions to find out what kind of players would have been preferred by the skippers, who will ultimately be responsible for all the on-field affairs?
The heavy selection panel also includes team manager Khaled Mahmud, who was supposed to talk with players and convey their message to the selection panel as per the typical new procedure. However, it is understood that he did not talk to the players.
According to sources the senior players did not like this treatment, but when contacted Bangladesh ODI and T20 skipper Mashrafe was not ready to comment on the issue.
Interestingly, Minhajul said: “We have selected 30 players (counting the stand-by players) in the pool and it's a primary selection. I have been working as selector for past six years and have never seen the captains involved in discussion during [the selection of the] preliminary squad.”
But, as he earlier said, there were hardly any doubts regarding the team.
Bangladesh is now going through good times, but some of those who had a big role in making that possible do not seem to get their share of respect for bringing all those changes in the team, which is not a good sign. If there is even a hairline fracture, the board must act on it immediately before the crack is widened further.