Domingo finds positives in enforced break | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, October 03, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:44 AM, October 03, 2020

Domingo finds positives in enforced break

Much like the cricketers, the journalists -- who cover Bangladesh cricket -- also stepped into the new normal as they joined in a virtual press conference arranged by the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) with the Tigers' head coach Russell Domingo yesterday. 

On a day when a two-day practice game among the national cricketers kicked off, it was Domingo who pressed the issue of resuming domestic cricket after Bangladesh's tour of Sri Lanka got cancelled due to disagreement over quarantine protocols between the two boards.

According to Domingo, the decision of not touring was the right one as it would always be difficult for players to be locked in a room for 14 days without being able to prepare prior to a Test series. 

"A couple of our players have been in isolation for five to six days showing some symptoms of coronavirus and some came out negative. And they said it [the period of isolation] was extremely difficult. For me spending 14 days inside a locked room will be very challenging. 

"There was some discussion among the players but ultimately, it's the decision that the board made and no doubt they made the right decision. And I think the players appreciate that. Obviously, they are disappointed for not playing the series but they also understand the mental issues that pose serious challenges. Even if one or two guys struggled with it that would have been an issue," said the South African. 

There were talks whether the BCB should resume domestic cricket since the Sri Lanka tour got cancelled. Domingo opined that the perfect way for the Tigers to get back to international cricket is through playing domestic cricket. 

"Obviously very disappointed for missing out on the Sri Lanka tour. It has been seven months since we played an international game. BCB is in discussion to start domestic cricket. There have been one or two invitations from other countries to play some games in December but nothing is confirmed yet. Obviously, domestic cricket needs to get going and it would be good if the players could play some sort of domestic and competitive cricket before heading towards the international game. So, if there is any form of domestic cricket the players can play that would be our first priority," he said.   

Despite the long break, the 46-year-old thinks the players looked in good shape during training sessions. 

"I think we are very fortunate to organise the individual practises and now it's been over a month we are training as a group. I have been so pleased by the players and proud of the work they have put in. The players seem to be in good touch in the nets. The bowlers seem to be in good shape. So, we are very pleased with where the boys are now. Now our challenge is to take that preparation and slowly go to the gameplan and work for international cricket." 

The coach also deemed players not being able to play cricket for a long time as a blessing as that, according to him, enables the coaches to work on the technical aspect of each cricketer which is usually not possible in the two to three weeks of time before a series.

"We have been working with Shadman Islam's batting stance. Najmul Hossain Shanto's head drops a little bit while playing spinners. We have been working with them on these technical issues. It's a positive sign that we can work on the technical aspect now which is difficult to do in the two to three weeks of time before a series," Domingo added. 

He also expressed high hopes of developing seven or eight fast bowlers who could play in all formats in the coming days both at home and abroad. 

The coach said that they have been trying to remain innovative in encouraging the players as there are no scheduled international fixtures for the Tigers in the coming days. 

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