What 'process' behind Mominul’s U-turn in 47 days?
Bangladesh cricketer Mominul Haque's declaration to quit Test captaincy may not have shocked the cricketing fraternity, given his persisting off-form with the bat. However, those who have been following what Mominul had said of late, would know that the decision does guarantee a few raised eyebrows.
Last month, following the Tigers' tour of South Africa, Mominul spoke to The Daily Star during an exclusive interview, during which he was asked whether the captaincy was being a burden to his batter self. Mominul had failed to reach double figures in the four innings he played against the Proteas.
"I enjoy it [captaincy] a lot. I enjoy what goes on in the field and it doesn't affect my batting. In fact, it helps me understand the game," Mominul had said, on April 14, as he went on to reiterate his views.
"If I start thinking it's a big pressure since I'm not scoring runs and the team aren't getting results, I won't go far. I've learned to absorb these things," he continued.
"If I can work on my game, I'll be able to make a comeback. The important thing about captaincy is that it opens up your thinking brain and your game opens up too."
Following the South Africa tour, Bangladesh played two Tests against Sri Lanka at home and had drawn the opener in Chattogram before losing the decider in Dhaka, in quite a convincing fashion. If the team performance of the two latest series, especially the batting, is compared, then the latest outings at home fared better for the Tigers, although the Mominul-led top-order collapse, alongside his single-digit scores, remained one of the common denominators.
Now, after 47 days since the interview, yesterday, the cricketer briefed the media, saying, "When you are playing well, you can still motivate the team even if it doesn't bring a result. I feel that I am not being able to play well and the team is not getting results.
"It's a hard situation to captain the side in. I feel it's better not to do it [captaincy] right now. I feel that if I can focus on my batting, it would be better."
So, what had significantly changed since then that Mominul decided on quitting captaincy?
Since his statements of then and now, in a short span of time, certainly contradict, thus, the question automatically surfaces to any ardent Bangladesh cricket follower: Is the player from Cox's Bazar being forced to resign, as a scapegoat for the batting debacle?
However, the Bangladesh Cricket Board president, Nazmul Hassan Papon, had openly stated that he does 'not have a problem with his [Mominul] captaincy'. Rather, his batting form had him worried. The president had said that he intended to engage in an open discussion to understand the state of mind of Mominul, who led the Tigers in 17 Tests so far, including the historic win in New Zealand earlier this year.
Furthermore, Mominul had told The Daily Star last month, in the same interview:
"In Test cricket, you are saying that we are learning after 20 years but I think that back then we used to learn but now we have learned to understand the process. It will take time."
In recent times, the word 'process' apparently gets thrown around right and left in Bangladesh cricket and Mominul's latest announcement has arguably reduced the gravity of the word, if it wasn't already. Now, a curious mind may wonder if the decision to resign before an important series like the tour of West Indies– also a vital part of the 'process'? Or did Mominul somehow had a vague idea of what the 'process' was all along?