Tomorrow never dies for BCB
It took almost a year for the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) president, Nazmul Hassan Papon, to come up with the announcement: "Our main focus is on the next World Cup, not this one. You can't change everything overnight. We are planning long-term and trying to prepare a squad for the next World Cup."
Criticism had been so overflowing following the Tigers' dismal campaign in the T20 World Cup in Oman and the UAE in November 2021 that the BCB also felt the heat along with players and officials.
While cricket fans had turned to social media to crucify the players for their poor performances, former cricketers refused to blame only the players and termed the debacle a collective failure. To make matters worse, former BCB president Saber Hossain Chowdhury termed incumbent board president Hassan 'incompetent' and blamed him for Bangladesh's awful performance in the last edition of the T20 World Cup.
The board even had formed a two-member committee to unearth the reasons behind the national team's dismal campaign, where the Tigers bowed out of the tournament after losing all five of their Super 12 games after stumbling earlier to a chastening defeat against Scotland in the first round.
We are not sure if the BCB boss had come to a realisation of the need for a long-term goal in line with any recommendations from that forgotten two-member committee, which had promised to make a report that will help the board fix problems regarding their team.
But after the World Cup debacle, they needed more failures from the national team to realise that head coach Russell Domingo's T20 philosophy was not suitable for the Tigers and started a plan for this World Cup when it was knocking at the door.
Hassan, setting his focus on the next World Cup, gives an impression that the World Cup this year has suddenly emerged in Bangladesh's cricketing calendar.
The fact that T20 technical consultant Sridharan Sriram was gauging the players' potential from the three-day practice camp ahead of the announcement of the World Cup squad only drives home the point that the very board, who are setting their eyes on the next T20 World Cup two years from now, has all along been short-sighted regarding addressing the imminent issues.
Those who follow the usual activities of the BCB can easily understand that Hassan has taken a different policy ahead of this mega event. As it seems, he and the other members of the board have been trying to tone down the expectations rather than showing false confidence, as usual, something that had backfired in the last edition of the World Cup.
After the 2021 T20 World Cup disaster, many critics wanted the removal of the coaching staff and the captain. Some of them were calling for wholesale changes to the board, saying that the current leadership has failed to improve the domestic structure, focused too little on the pipeline for future cricketers, and has not prepared the sort of sporting wickets that can produce quality T20 cricketers.
A few criticisms might have been emotionally driven but most were logical.
The BCB, however, hardly did anything to chalk out a plan for the upcoming World Cup in Australia. Instead, they made more chaos surrounding the team by bringing drastic changes in the leadership.
Head coach Domingo had been released from T20 duty, Mushfiqur Rahim announced his retirement from the format, and Mahmudullah Riyad was excluded from the World Cup squad. The Bangladesh team management saw all these changes in a span of few days, but none of these alterations, including the 15-member squad that was announced for the tri-nation series in New Zealand and the T20 World Cup, were an outcome of sound planning after last year's World Cup debacle.
Even if miracles happen in Australia, under the leadership of Shakib Al Hasan, all the age-old problems will be swept under the carpet once more. On the other hand, if another debacle takes place, then they will try to find a scapegoat or two.
Come what may, there will be always a 'next time' for the BCB.