‘Spinners like Miraz, Taijul, Nayeem are not created overnight’

Mehedi Hasan Miraz celebrates taking a wicket with teammates. Photo: Firoz Ahmed

The fact that there is a dearth of players, especially off-spinners, in Bangladesh's pipeline was made even more apparent following the Tigers' recent debacle against Sri Lanka in the two-match Test series at home last month.

The root cause for the issue could be drawn back to the mediocre domestic standard of Bangladesh cricket. Even veteran cricket coach Nazmul Abedeen Fahim, mentor to many stalwarts of Bangladesh, had said that the low standard of Bangladesh's domestic cricket stands in the way of players preparing for the international stage. 

And hence, even though there remains a number of performers at the domestic level, the national selectors often find themselves in a spot of bother in naming replacements for any player on the national side. 

Echoing similar statements as Fahim, domestic spin coach Sohel Islam also pointed toward the difference in standards between the domestic and international levels as the main reason behind Bangladesh's issues with having adequate players in the pipeline. 

"It takes time to create a pipeline. We all know that there is a difference in standard between our domestic cricket and international cricket," said Sohel, who was overseeing the spinners during the national team's practice in Mirpur today.  

Sohel also mentioned that there remains no scope for snap judgment if the pipeline is to be enriched.   

"Now, when we take a talented player from the pipeline to the international stage, we must ensure he gets enough time at the international level. If we bring a player to the international stage and judge him after just a match or two….the thing is players like [Mehedi Hasan] Miraz, Taijul [Islam] or Nayeem [Hasan] were not created overnight. The up-and-coming players should be given time," Sohel added. 

During the recently-concluded Sri Lanka series, Bangladesh included Mosaddek Hossain as a replacement for Nayeem Hasan after the latter was ruled out of the second Test due to an injury. The main reason behind including, and playing, Mosaddek a Test after more than two years was that the team management was unable to find another like-for-like off-spinner in place of Nayeem.    

According to Sohel, Bangladesh do have off-spinners but they would need proper grooming and given enough time to flourish. 

"I won't say that we do not have off-spinners. We have but we need to nurse them. They need to be kept as backup players in the national set-up and they would need practice in that set-up. If such an environment can't be created for them or of they are not played in such [international standard] matches then it becomes very difficult to have players ready for this stage," Sohel concluded.