"I would love to be able to speak to them [players] like this, like I am speaking to you now and that they can say they understand every word. Unfortunately, that’s not the case."
Sylhet Thunder coach
The Bangabandhu Bangladesh Premier League (BBPL) moves to Sylhet from today after the completion of the second Dhaka phase on December 31, 2019. It will however not be a happy homecoming for hosts Sylhet Thunder as they have no hope of making it to the play-offs after only registering one win in eight games.
Other than some occasional sparks from Andre Fletcher, Johnshon Charles and Mohammad Mithun, the overall performance of the side has been below par. Sylhet Thunder coach Herschelle Gibbs explained why the team might have been suffering. According to the South African, it is the language barrier that has caused a lot of problems throughout the tournament.
“About local players, a lot of them don’t understand English. So, it is difficult for me to make points all the time. It is frustrating,” said Gibbs yesterday in Sylhet.
However, Gibbs is not the only South African on coaching duty with Bangladeshi players. There are in total four South Africans currently working in the Bangladesh national team management with head coach Russell Domingo, batting coach Neil McKenzie, fielding coach Ryan Cook and physio Julian Calefato all from South Africa.
Gibbs also wondered how McKenzie managed to communicate with local players.
“I would love to be able to speak to them [players] like this, like I am speaking to you now and that they can say they understand every word. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. I am not sure what Neil McKenzie is saying (smiles). He is from South Africa and I am also from there. He [McKenzie] is also helping them to understand what he is trying to do. But I know McKenzie is a good coach and the players will learn a lot from him. But I don’t know how much he is actually getting across. Maybe I have to, you know, get a new language before I come here,” said Gibbs.
A frustrated Gibbs also gave an example of his troubles while communicating with players in the BBPL.
“When I talk to them, I can see that they are listening but they are not really syncing in. I think the understanding of the game needs to be improved. I will give you an example. The other day Rubel Mia was batting and he was on 14 off 28 deliveries. I walked on to the filed during the time-out and I said to him, ‘what is happening, you got 14 off 28 balls?’ and in reply he just shook his head,” said Gibbs.