Not just a lunch
The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) arranged a get-together and lunch for cricketers at a city hotel today and, although members of the team management downplayed the significance of the 'special' lunch ahead of the Tigers' tour of Zimbabwe, scraping past the surface the motive may have been to communicate some issues to the senior stars who might have been left a bit disappointed with the BCB's refurbishment of the T20I line-up for the upcoming T20I series.
Current decisions are in line with the BCB's aim to give more immunity to the young leader and the rest of the young side, away from the seniors' dispositions or lack of agreement on leadership issues in the shortest format.
The discussions in the get-together also ensured that players act more professionally in the face of disappointments due to lack of form or omissions from the squad. The lunch was also a means for the team to bond through the changes taking place as the BCB did not tinker with the experienced ODI outfit for the Zimbabwe tour, where both Riyad and Mushfiqur were included.
"It's not a big deal. It was a special lunch to encourage the Tigers. We will hold such gatherings more going forward. It's mainly to inspire players who may be going through hard times. We also talked about keeping their distance from criticism on social media or elsewhere," BCB cricket operations chairman Jalal Yunus told The Daily Star yesterday.
Team director Khaled Mahmud Sujon said following the get-together that they needed to see new players. "Shakib, Tamim, Mushfiqur, Riyad and Mashrafe [Bin Mortaza] are icons of Bangladesh cricket. Although Mashrafe is not there anymore, the rest of them will not play forever. What we're doing in Zimbabwe T20Is is not experimental. It's not like Riyad or Mushfiqur were dropped. We want to see what others can do in their positions," Mahmud told the media yesterday.
"We have to make the squad with new players at some point. It's not that the transitional period has started. Seniors still have the capability but it is also our responsibility to make younger players stand up and be counted," Mahmud said. "A skipper must lead from the front. The T20I side has to play with freedom, not just two to three players but the entire side."
Mahmud said that the players needed to show a professional attitude even when they are not performing or were dropped. Asked about a few curios posts on social media by Mushfiqur, Mahmud said: "I think it's a players' personal matter [what they post on social media]. But I have given a clear message to the boys that they need to have a professional attitude. We have to be professional and we have to develop our culture. Some of us might be sad and that is normal when someone gets dropped. We can't play well because of mental toughness but unless we can develop this [the ability to take things in stride] we cannot be a very good side," Mahmud said as BCB looks to impress certain standards going forward.