The whole concept of nurturing something seems to be lost on the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB). While this affects the entire team overall, the fast bowling unit -- which needs the most grooming in a team that lags miles behind in the department when compared to other international teams -- has been the most affected by such a mentality from the high-ups.
Right-arm pacer Abu Jayed, who was left-out of the initial squad for the Sri Lanka tour, must have hoped to make the squad after Bangladesh were hit with injuries on Friday -- just the day before the team were scheduled to depart for Sri Lanka for a three-match ODI series.
Jayed’s inclusion would have made sense, given that he featured in the Tigers’ 15-member World Cup squad. However, stretching Jayed’s wait and also raising serious questions about Bangladesh’s abysmal selection process, the BCB announced all-rounder Forhad Reza as a replacement for injured Mashrafe Bin Mortaza while pacer Taskin Ahmed was called on as Mohammad Saifuddin’s stand-in.
Bangladesh’s mentality of looking for temporary and more instantaneous solutions to problems was yet again proved when chief selector Minhajul Abedin mentioned the ‘conditions’ as the reason behind Jayed’s exclusion.
It seems as though Jayed was more of a stand-by for Taskin Ahmed in the world cup.
“[Abu Jayed] Rahi was not considered due to conditions. He was included in the World Cup squad as the ball gets more swing in English conditions. And also because Taskin was injured, we opted for Rahi. But now as Taskin is fit and the series is in Sri Lanka, we did not take Rahi in the team.” Minhajul told The Daily Star yesterday.
Jayed -- known for his ability to swing the ball in both directions -- had proved himself when given the opportunity in Ireland during Bangladesh’s triangular series in May this year. Jayed bagged a fifer against the hosts, paving the team’s way to their first ever multi-team ODI triumph.
Even after that though, Jayed was not considered for any of the World Cup matches in England, where his style of bowling was most suited. Bangladesh’s first ever ODI captain, Gazi Ashraf Hossain Lipu said that the exclusion of Jayed actually puts the board’s decision to include him in the Ireland series -- in the lead-up to World Cup -- under the spotlight.
“This actually puts the selector’s previous decision under questions. But I would say that not getting a single match out of Bangladesh’s eight matches [in the World Cup] even after taking five wickets [in the triangular series] raises a lot of questions regarding his importance at the highest level,” Lipu said. “I think it is most unfortunate for him to not get a chance in the World Cup rather than not being selected for the Sri Lanka series.”
Meanwhile, Aminul Islam, who led Bangladesh in their first ever World Cup in 1999, was more vocal regarding the disarray in the BCB’s selection process, labelling it as ‘flawed’.
“Actually who are the selectors? We say there are two selectors. But it is seen that the manager also acts as the selector, sometimes the coach is the selector and sometimes the Board president also acts as selector. A team is announced through a process and it is once again proven that the process is flawed.”
A player needs to be nurtured and the best way to do that is to stick with your preferred choice for a longer period. Jayed, who was simply there during the World Cup, has been dropped rather harshly without being provided with enough opportunities. Such has been the case for another prospect -- Yasir Ali -- who had toured with the side in Ireland in May after a blistering show in the Bangladesh Premier League in January-February this year. And the hilarious decision to include Reza -- a player way past his prime -- in a series that could be the perfect platform to nurture players like Jayed and Yasir shows that Aminul was right on money when he called BCB’s selection process a flawed one.