Can BCB's probe reach the root of rot?
It took over two weeks for the country's cricket board to finally set in motion a special probe committee to unearth the reasons behind Bangladesh's shambolic ICC ODI World Cup campaign in India.
With Enayet Hossain Siraj as the convenor alongside Mahbubul Anam and former captain Akram Khan as its members, the three-person committee will "scrutinise the factors contributing to the team's underperformance in the tournament", stated a Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) press release yesterday.
Bangladesh finished eighth among 10 teams in the tournament, winning only two of their nine matches, falling far off from what the team management aspired prior to the mega event: a maiden semi-finals berth.
Akram informed that they will first sit with everyone related to the World Cup squad before filing the report; which, however, has no deadline in place.
"As we have a series going on against New Zealand, everyone is not available. So, I think it will take some time for us to speak with everyone," Akram told The Daily Star yesterday.
This is not the first time that the Nazmul Hassan-led BCB had attempted to probe into a major event debacle, having previously formed a two-member committee following the T20 World Cup in 2021.
The board, however, never revealed any of the findings presented by the duo of Enayet and BCB director Jalal Yunus, now the chairman of cricket operations.
"There were past instances where, despite forming fact-finding committees, there were no significant results witnessed. But this time our board president has strictly instructed us to dig deep and find out the exact reasons behind the World Cup debacle," Akram informed further.
"We had huge expectations for this World Cup but we failed miserably. Having witnessed some negative incidents before and during the World Cup, we will take everything into consideration, both on and off-field issues, before filing the final report."
It sparks curiosity that all three members of the investigative committee are BCB directors, involved in various capacities with the board: Enayet is the chairman of the BCB's Working Committee, Mahbubul leads the BCB's Grounds Committee, and former captain Akram is the chairman of the BCB's Facilities Committee.
This is unlike what happened following the 2003 World Cup in South Africa, where Bangladesh lost all their games, including one against Canada. The then cricket administration formed a two-member inquiry committee with two individuals not associated with the board: Commodore (retd) Mujibur Rahman and Syed Shamim Ahsan.
That report, submitted after talking to all relevant stakeholders, is still considered an exemplary fact-finding report that eventually helped Bangladesh cricket rise from the ashes.
Will the three-member committee be able to operate independently, without any external influence from BCB, this time around? Or will the reason(s) for another World Cup disaster be conveniently shrugged under the rug?