A pressing need for long-term solution
Will the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) and Shakib Al Hasan be able to reach a respectable long-term solution to the ongoing chaos?
Although the BCB has granted Shakib a leave from all formats of national assignments till April 30, Nazmul Abedeen Fahim, a very trusted man among the country's leading cricketers including Shakib, stresses importance on managing the senior players well and believes that it's not all about the South Africa tour but the board desperately need to arrive at a long-term plan, about the availability of senior players, for the greater interest of the game.
"I think there is a huge gap between the board and the player in terms of trust and mutual respect. It will set a bad example for our cricket if a player like Shakib signs off his career in chaos," Fahim said today.
"I firmly believe Bangladesh cricket will go ahead even without Shakib but we should understand that he is a world class sportsman and we cannot create a situation for what could end his career abruptly. It'll not set a good example for the future generations. I'm sure Shakib will also not want it. But what is happening surrounding his availability for international commitments, is not very healthy," Fahim continued to reiterate the need for a comprehensive planning from the board.
"We must understand that players like Shakib are at the tail end of their career and facing some limitations. But the country's cricket can get a valuable service from them for the next two-three years if the board chalks out a proper plan to bring confidence in them.
"No doubt, there should be accountability on Shakib's part. And there is nothing wrong if he is involved in other activities and gives attention to any lucrative franchise league but it must be well planned. But the problem is, board officials can make any comments but the players have some restrictions to express them fully, due to the code of conduct. This would be a foolish approach to dismiss players like Shakib, Tamim, Mushfiqur or Mahmudullah Riyad," said the BKSP's cricket advisor as went on to point out a flaw in the state of country's cricket culture.
"I'm involved with the cricketers for so many years and I can confidently tell you players like Habibul Bashar, Khaled Mahmud, Shakib and many others play the game because they love the game first. You must show respect even when you criticize them. When you tell publicly that since they are getting salary and so they must obey you, it simply shows how poor our cricket culture is.
"I'm really sad to see the lack of mutual respect between the board and players. I'm hearing such bad comments that reflect where our cricket culture stands."
Fahim reminded there was something wrong in terms of trust and that is why this kind of problem gets raised not only with Shakib but also against the other players like Tamim Iqbal and Mahmudullah Riyad.
"You must dig deep to expose the problem," Fahim concluded.