Zimbabwe’s win in the first Micromax Cup One Day cricket encounter exposed tension in the Bangladesh dressing room that would not have been brought out if they had won that match.
For most of his tenure as captain of Bangladesh Shakib Al Hasan has maintained his cool even in most difficult situations.
However, after Wednesday’s defeat Hasan’s outbursts after the match in response to probing local journalists exposed tension in the Bangladesh dressing room.
There had been reports that the national team’s captaincy was being foisted on him although his appointment had been seen as a positive move since his success against New Zealand.
Pace bowler Mashrafe Bin Mortaza, who was making a return from injury, was tipped to retain the captaincy although the selectors decided against it with the Bangladesh Cricket Board chief executive Manzur Ahmed saying:
“Shakib (Al Hasan has been successful so we have selected him as captain. Mashrafe (Mortaza) is also good and recognised but we decided to keep him away from the pressure and burden of the captaincy.”
However, after the disappointment of the defeat Hasan opened up for the first time about the issue in a development that is set to open a can of worms in the Bangladesh dressing room.
“I’m not prepared to take the job (captaincy),” said Hasan when asked about the issue after the match.
“And I’m not satisfied with my role as captain. The reasons are numerous and I cannot detail all of them at the moment,” he was quoted in the country’s biggest English daily publication, The Daily Star.
The publication added that Hasan said he was not happy to lead a team which excluded performers like Shahriar Nafees while retaining out-of-form players like Junaed Siddiqui and Mohammad Ashraful.
“Fielding-wise we could not expect more from this team because we had two good fielders in Rokibul Hasan and Naem Islam out of the team.
“Those who were in the team are not capable. Actually we can’t expect more from this team as they did what they are capable,” added Hasan in a statement that was clearly a slap in the face of the selectors.
However although there is clear instability in the hosts’ camp, skipper Elton Chigumbura on Thursday said it was going to be very important for the Zimbabwe team to focus more on working on their game plan and tactics rather than on their opponents.
The second One Day International takes place today at the Sher-e –Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur, Dhaka.
Meanwhile, Wednesday’s victory over Bangladesh brought a sense of déjà vu for cricket fans who still remember what happened the last time Zimbabwe toured Bangladesh in October last year.
Zimbabwe went one nil up in the series, only for them to lose the remaining four matches following an inconsistent run that gave the hosts a chance to come back strongly in the rest of the series.
Responding to questions from a mob of local journalists at a post match press conference Chigumbura, flanked by gaffer Allan Butcher and man-of-the- match Christopher Mpofu, said:
“The win was a big boost for the team and it showed that we can win matches. However we don’t want to talk about matches that are still to be played. We will take it one step at a time and work at our strengths and weaknesses ahead of the next matches.”
“We have to focus on working on our strengths and weaknesses. We are aware of what they did against New Zealand but it’s all in the past and we have to focus on what is ahead for us,” said Chigumbura.