Domingo no-show as Asia Cup preparations kick into gear
Jamie Siddons, Bangladesh batting consultant, was there and so were other members of the coaching panel in Allan Donald, Shane McDermott and Rangana Herath. Team director Khaled Mahmud walked down the side line, passing on instructions but head coach Russell Domingo was nowhere to be seen yesterday during Bangladesh's preparatory practice match for the Asia Cup, played between Bangladesh Red and Bangladesh Green, at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium.
Where was Domingo with Bangladesh's preparations in full swing? While he attended the training session the day before, his absence was noted by the media present at the stadium.
With rumours floating around that Domingo will not be at the Asia Cup, during the practice game, the newly appointed technical consultant Sridharan Sriram came to the field for a meeting at BCB offices. Later he met with the senior players and it was his presence and Domingo's absence at Mirpur that left a mark.
Mosaddek Hossain's words all but confirmed the scenario unfolding behind the curtains regarding Domingo's future.
"I don't have any idea regarding this issue. It's the board's decision and we don't have any idea regarding it," Mosaddek told the media after the game when asked regarding Domingo's absence.
Mosaddek, however, cited that a new setup is to arrive in the T20 format. Asked on his evaluation of Domingo and adjusting to the new setup, Mosaddek said: "We have worked with him [Domingo] for so long and maybe a new setup will obviously arrive. Obviously, it will be difficult to adjust to that and perform but as a professional cricketer I believe everyone will do that."
It was learned that Domingo was called in by the BCB president, Nazmul Hassan, at his residence yesterday. The meeting today with everyone concerned was slated to reveal what would happen to Domingo's future with BCB, and it appears part of that discussion might have already taken place.
Asked if Domingo would be missed, Mosaddek said: "When you work with someone for two-three years, obviously, it's normal to miss them. From what I heard in the media, he will probably stay with us in Tests and ODIs. So maybe we will miss him in the T20s but he will be in the other formats."
Shakib Al Hasan was dictating terms in the practice game, trying out match scenarios. While captaining the Red team, he made some batting-order changes as well. Batting first, the Reds put up 165 for 7 with Shakib twice coming in to bat. At his first opportunity, the newly appointed T20I skipper fell to Ebadot Hossain after a 13-ball 17.
Anamul Haque Bijoy, who came in to open the innings, departed for four but came in at number five later to hit 19 off 10 before falling to Mehedi Hasan Miraz. The experienced Mahmudullah Riyad and Mushfiqur Rahim scored 12 and 2, respectively, before Shakib's 24-ball 36 and Mosaddek's 17-ball 30 saw them reach 165.
Youngster Mahfizul Islam and Miraz came in to open the innings and provided a flying start to Bangladesh Green with a fifty partnership in five overs. However, the Green's innings fell through after they departed.
Shakib then shortened the target to 148 for the Green side in the 17th over. Afterwards, Mohammad Saifuddin contributed with 26 while Mahedi Hasan, who batted for the Red team in the first innings, was brought in to test death-over batting skills and he responded well by hitting an unbeaten 31 off 16 deliveries.
Shamim Patawari ended the chase with a six off the penultimate delivery as Bangladesh look to find a new avenue and gear up for a change in their T20 setup.
Meanwhile, pacer Mustafizur Rahman didn't play the match as he is undergoing injury rehabilitation and is unlikely to play today's match.