Agenda unclear in regards to captaincy
The Bangladesh cricket board's (BCB) 'unofficial agenda' in today's board meeting is set to be its most urgent one as they look for a replacement for former Test skipper Mominul Haque, who stated officially on Tuesday that he no longer wanted to remain Test captain.
Media committee chairman Tanvir Ahmed Titu said during a briefing that the discussion may not come as an agenda when queried on whether the replacement of Mominul as Test skipper was the most important agenda in the board meeting.
One BCB official earlier remarked to the media, even before Mominul's decision came, that the board had backups in case Mominul wanted to step away. Something certainly does not add up as the BCB strolled between the pretty thick lines of not having thought of replacing Mominul as captain and claiming it was not part of the board meeting's agenda and the other extreme of 'serving a notice' by stating they had backups.
The BCB president Nazmul Hassan had on Wednesday told this newspaper that Mominul's replacement was to be discussed or at the very least he will have to stay on as captain for a certain period.
"I told him [Mominul] that we have to see how things are and we will let you know. We will sit down and take a decision day after tomorrow on whether Mominul will be staying on in his role and for how long," he had said.
However, through this medley of various insinuations by the BCB, sources close to the board claim that unless something dramatic happens in the board meeting, Shakib Al Hasan is most likely to take over as captain.
The BCB president had earlier also claimed that Shakib not being available during many of the past Test series, was a major obstacle to choosing him as captain. It could be surmised from many of the BCB officials' remarks that there had been discussions with Shakib but there was the 'unpredictability' factor still at play which relates to Shakib's tendency to pick and choose series. It may very well be that BCB chooses the skipper for the tour of West Indies on an ad hoc basis.
Team director Khaled Mahmud said that the matter of Test captaincy will be discussed keeping various issues in mind. He said it was perhaps too early for the likes of Liton Das or Mehedi Hasan Miraz. He was however of the opinion that Shakib captaining the team would be a good thing.
"I haven't talked to Shakib about captaincy but we have talked about other issues. Even yesterday we were discussing the West Indies series and match situations. He has a lot of knowledge regarding the game and it's always good to talk with him because of that. He can mix well with everyone and I think if he gets the captaincy, it will be good for the team," Mahmud told reporters yesterday.
However, that unpredictability of when Shakib may or may not be available does not speak to the BCB's plans in terms of the continuity the board wants from a captain. Mahmud said that they wanted a captain instated for at least a two-year time period. What of Shakib's tendency to skip series? Mahmud had a different take compared to media's perception.
"Shakib always wants to play Tests now, I don't know how this thing came about that he doesn't want to play Tests. Whenever I talk to him, Shakib says: 'I enjoy Tests more than other formats and I want to play Tests'. If he wants captaincy, maybe once given a responsibility, it will bring a change in him. I am not saying that Shakib will definitely be the captain. Tamim [Iqbal] is also there since [Mahmudullah] Riyad has left the format. Mushy [Mushfiqur Rahim] is there too but if he wants to accept is a big factor," he remarked.