A show of disrespect
Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) President Nazmul Hassan's antics during press briefings have been well-advertised, but the BCB boss probably violated the very essence of the game -- respect -- while taking a swipe at Mushfiqur Rahim's decision to skip the Pakistan tour.
Responding to a question at the BCB headquarters on Tuesday regarding Mushfiqur's prospect of travelling to Pakistan for the last leg of the three-phase tour, Hassan first said that he was yet to hear anything from the horse's mouth.
It was a reasonable response.
He then said something more at home in a political dictionary.
"Will have to think for the country. Don't always have to think about your own [welfare]. This is what I personally believe. Family is very important, but the country is even more important," he said.
After a pause, he said something quite rational again.
"Well, there was fear. We all had fears over travelling to Pakistan. Wasn't the fear-factor prevalent in those who have travelled?" he asked.
But then he uttered something that no decent professional athlete -- let alone Mushfiqur, a champion batsman and the most committed cricketer of the country -- deserves.
"[His] family member went there and played. So would nothing happen if something happened to [Mahmudllah] Riyad [his brother-in-law]? Will the family members cry only if something happens to him [Mushfiqur]? I can't believe such things," Hassan proclaimed.
His bizarre logic for Mushfiqur to travel to Pakistan next April, which can be debated, is not an issue at all. The burning question is whether the board president has the authority to mock the family sentiments of Mushfiqur or any other cricketer.
Does the BCB boss have the right to belittle a cricketer, let alone a player like Mushfiqur, who has time and again showed his utmost dedication to serving the nation during his illustrious career spanning over 15 years?
Mushfiqur decided against touring Pakistan due to security concerns raised by family members and he has every right to respond to the request of his dear ones, which is quite common in the international sporting arena.
There might be criticism among the fans but this kind of reaction from the establishment and that too against a player who publicly acknowledged that he never felt good when out of the ground, is not only uncalled for but also a serious violation of mutual respect.
The board president has reasons to be disappointed. Bangladesh badly lost the two T20Is and the first Test against Pakistan by an innings. It is also understandable that, had Mushfiqur been around, Bangladesh could have put up a better fight with the bat.
Just to show how important he is in the Tigers' batting line-up, Mushfiqur hammered a magnificent double-hundred in the one-off Test against Zimbabwe on Monday.
The day after he scored 203 not out at Mirpur, the BCB president said normal service returned to the Bangladesh camp as a reference to that easy win against Zimbabwe.
He also presented Mushfiqur with the player-of-the-match award with a smile on his face. But whether that was a compliment is anybody's guess now.