Players going straight to president is bad practice, says Lipu

Bangladesh's first-ever ODI captain Gazi Ashraf Hossain Lipu opined that the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) president Nazmul Hassan Papon could have waited till the end of the upcoming England series to give rise to the new talk of the town, relating to the previously assumed strained relationship between two Bangladesh stalwarts -- Shakib Al Hasan and Tamim Iqbal. 

The BCB boss, in his recent interview with Cricbuzz, has apparently opened a can of worms. Lipu thinks such revelation "should not have come out to public, especially from the board president" who he believes had "spoken out in frustration from the fact that he could not find a solution." 

"I think that the president could have been careful about letting such information out before the [England] series. At the end of day, we wouldn't want two of our legends to reach such a situation," he said during an episode of Non-Striker's End, The Daily Star's multimedia programme.

The former captain, however, is still not willing to draw any conclusion on the matter, and he believes "conflict of ideas is bound to happen in every sphere of life."

"Look, have we heard from Shakib or Tamim that their relationship deteriorated? Has anyone ever witnessed on the field that, at any point, Tamim dropped a catch to deny Shakib a wicket? Or that they ran the other out?

"They gave their 100 per cent whenever they played. When players engage on a constant basis, it's quite normal that discussions about off-field matters take place, and everyone experiences it, more or less," he added.  

England captain Jos Buttler said that his side are eager to thrive in Bangladesh conditions, which he assumes to be similar to what teams will face in the ODI World Cup in India later this year. Asked if Bangladesh should do the same, Lipu recommended that it would be wise to focus on one series at a time and that the expectations from the Tigers should be kept in check as their stars have approached the twilight of their careers.

"Look, if you see things from a bigger perspective, yes, we should prepare with the World Cup in mind. At the same time, it seems we'll be content on making it to the semifinals and there is the challenge of the knock-out stage. But we must reflect where we stand at present.

"Our best players have aged and alongside them, new faces made their way in. So, with this sort of team, it is not fair to expect too much from the upcoming World Cup."

In addition, he thinks the BCB "has set some short-term goals", and admitted that he has not witnessed prior evidence of anything beyond the short-term.

The culture, or the apparent absence of it, in Bangladesh cricket has been often talked about. Lipu recalled the 80's and the 90's and lamented how the vision that was established in the initial days, have derailed. The development is focused on the national team, tournaments like Bangladesh Premier League, High Performance events and so on, leaving the grassroots infrastructure ignored to many extents.

Speaking further on the culture, Lipu said it is "not a good practice by any means when players go straight to the president" instead of going to the ones in charge at the Cricket Operations Committee, for instance.   

"Those who have been bestowed with the responsibility of taking care of the national cricketers for the last ten to fifteen years in the Cricket Operations [Committee] chairman post, the likes of Akram [Khan], [Naimur Rahman] Durjoy and Jalal [Yunus] bhai at present, all quite capable, I think they should be given the scope to play a role [in their post].

"And if they fail, then the board president could always intervene.

"But if players bypass them [the ones at Cricket Operations], the coach and go directly to the president, it's not a very good practice," said Lipu, who was also the team manager during Bangladesh's maiden World Cup appearance in 1999.


Law minister
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