Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) is reluctant to resume cricket in the country without a green signal from the government.
Right after the outbreak of the coronavirus, the board stopped all kind of cricketing activities in the country. Along with this, the board adopted work from home policy for some administrative works.
Before the lockdown, cricketers were busy playing in the Dhaka Premier League- country’s most prestigious List-A event. The league had been postponed after the sixth game on March 16. Since then, all the cricketers are passing time at home.
“We want to resume the game in Bangladesh and the cricketers are also hoping for so. But it’s not up to us. At first, we need everything to go back to normalcy. We are waiting for a green signal from the government. We have no plan to bring the cricket back to the field without the government instruction,” Nizamuddin Chowdhury, the BCB CEO, told the media recently.
Not just the domestic cricket, Bangladesh’s international schedules also were also hit hard due to the novel coronavirus. The Tigers were scheduled to tour to Pakistan at the beginning of April, but coronavirus forced this series to be rescheduled in future. Along with this, Bangladesh’s Ireland tour was also postponed indefinitely.
Bangladesh, however, is yet to confirm anything about the Sri Lanka tour which is scheduled in June-July this year. The BCB CEO said, “We have not postponed the Sri Lanka series yet. We are observing the situation in Sri Lanka. To be honest, we are not in a position to talk about the future of this series. We are currently thinking much on the series which are postponed due to the virus.”
Nizamuddin also said the board is thinking to resume Bangladesh’s cricket with the domestic events which are on halt now. At the same time, cricketers are also hoping the board will not cancel this year’s Dhaka League which is the main source of income for hundreds of cricketers who only play in domestic cricket.
Meanwhile, as per the latest update from the authority, more than 11000 people tested positive for coronavirus in Bangladesh while 186 of them died. The country was maintaining strict lockdown but recently, the government decided to ease the lockdown as it permitted shopping malls to reopen on a limited scale and offering prayers at mosques with proper precaution.
Bangladesh’s most successful captain in ODI cricket Mashrafe bin Mortaza is looking forward to his old teammate Tamim Iqbal, also the country’s most accomplished batsman across all formats of the game, finally take the reins of leadership for the Tigers in ODIs.
Accordingly the senior Mashrafe, now serving as a parliamentarian from his home district Narail, shared some tips on the art of captaincy for his old comrade, when he appeared in a Facebook Live “adda” on Monday night hosted by Tamim.
Above all, Mash advised Tamim to listen to his heart while making a decision.
"You will hear a lot of advice from others as captain - 'do this, do that'- but as long as you listen to your heart, you will be able to sleep at night even if you lose," Mashrafe said during the conversation with Tamim.
“You will be unhappy if you had to do what other people told you. I have always believed in this. I won't tell you how to do your captaincy, but you should do what your heart desires. You will have senior cricketers like Shakib, Mushfiq and Riyad around you, but if you listen to your gut feeling, you will be more successful," he elaborated.
Mashrafe, who is effectively retired from the game but hasn’t made any official decision, further said that the Bangladesh team has some 'match-winners' and urged Tamim to back the players.
"Bangladesh's reality is a little different. You have to be patient. If you can make the players understand that you will do everything you can for them, then they will give the best for you," Mashrafe further said.
"I am confident in your ability, it doesn't matter what others are saying. You have match-winners like Soumya, Liton and Mustafiz, so if something is being said about them, you have to handle it carefully," he added.
Mashrafe, who resigned from the ODI captaincy last February, asked Tamim to back the younger players like Soumya Sarkar, Liton Das and Mustafizur Rahman to move forward.
Tamim is a senior player in the Bangladesh side for long, but he has been a bit of a reluctant leader, taking charge only in one Test and three ODIs over the years. But, Mashrafe suggested that Tamim's leadership role off the field would be useful for him in his new position.
"I never really supported your reluctance about the captaincy. Why wouldn't you be the captain? You already have leadership qualities," Mashrafe said. "Whether the BCB will give you the captaincy for a long time, that's up to them. You have to accept it properly.
"You didn't accept the captaincy properly on the Sri Lanka tour last July. But seeing you now, I feel you are on the right track, and Bangladesh cricket will move up to the next step very soon."
Bangladesh’s most successful captain in ODI cricket Mashrafe Bin Mortaza, presently a parliamentarian, revealed his three most memorable wins with the Tigers, among other revelations, as he became old comrade Tamim Iqbal’s latest guest for an online interview broadcast on social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram.
The initiative by Tamim, set to take over as ODI captain, prompted by the lockdown situation amid the coronavirus pandemic, started on Saturday night with Mushfiqur Rahim and then featured Mahmudullah Riyad on Sunday. More styled as an adda or candid but also deep conversation between old teammates, it has been wildly successful so far, and drew fans like a live cricket game.
On Monday, the mutual respect as well as camaraderie between Tamim and Mashrafe was apparent throughout. Mashrafe greeted Tamim as “Captain saheb”, in anticipation of his upcoming assignment.
“There is only one captain in Bangladesh cricket,” Tamim promptly responded, before adding: “You will always be my captain.” Mashrafe went on to reveal how he was actually friends with Tamiom’s older brother, ex-national cricketer Nafis Iqbal, and on that pretext the first time he saw Tamim at their Chittagong house, the younger brother was playing with toy cars, not bat and ball.
In the course of the conversation, it came out that towards the end of his career, Mashrafe stopped buying cricket bats anymore, finding it more convenient to take one or two from Tamim’s collection. The chemistry between them was undeniable, indeed, as it has been with all three guests and Tamim.
“We have won 50 ODIs under your captaincy which is a tremendous achievement. We want to know which three are the most memorable to you?” Tamim asked Mashrafe at one point, clearly a prepared question.
Mashrafe said the World Cup win against England at Adelaide under lights in 2015 is the most memorable win to him - as it is probably for an entire generation of Tigers fans and Bangladeshis - which guided the Tigers to the World Cup Quarterfinals for the first time in their history.
The second most memorable win came against New Zealand in the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 in Cardiff, Wales in which Shakib Al Hasan and Mahmudullah Riyad hit centuries to craft an improbable win from a very difficult position. The win took the Tigers to the Semifinals of the event, itself a first.
As the third most memorable win, Mashrafe mentioned the second match of Bangladesh’s three-match ODI series at home against England in 2016, in which Bangladesh won by 34 runs to keep the series alive on the strength of a solid all-round performance from the skipper. He was awarded man of the match for his 44 runs and 4-wicket haul.
In the Live session, Mashrafe said that Tamim has all the capabilities to lead the team to a good place in world cricket. He stated many stories where Tamim proved his quality of leadership.
“When we tour abroad, Tamim takes the responsibility to arrange our dinners outside the team hotel. He selects the restaurants, he calls taxis. We just follow him along the way. This is what Tamim can do as a leader. I always believe he has the ability to lead the Bangladesh team as well. But Tamim used to love to consider himself as a good vice-captain. It’s good that he now believes that he can lead the Tigers. I’m so happy to see him as the captain of Bangladesh ODI team,” Mashrafe said in the Facebook Live which was seen by about 1 lakh viewers.
Tamim had started out with Instagram Live sessions for the earlier two episodes (Mushfiqur Rahim and Mahmudullah Riyad). But for Mashrafe, possibly having received the feedback on the first two shows, it was through Facebook as most Bangladesh fans use Facebook. It resulted in a great viewership.
Tamim said he is planning to bring pace-bowling-duo Taskin Ahmed and Rubel Hossain as his next guests on Live in the coming days. The new Bangladesh ODI captain also said he is planning to bring some of Bangladesh’s first-generation international cricketers on Live as well, so that the fans can learn many untold stories from the country’s early cricketing days.
Bangladesh ace all-rounder Mahmudullah Riyad believes Mohammad Saifuddin and Afif Hossain, two of the up-and-coming Tigers, are capable of becoming the next big stars of Bangladesh team.
He also noted the name of Mosaddek Hossain, who was one of the best cricketers in the world during this U-19 cricketing days, but he is yet to prove his mettle at the international level.
Mahmudullah joined Tamim Iqbal in an Instagram live on Sunday night, and he made the remarks in that live session.
Tamim started the trend of Insta lives in Bangladesh with his show with Mushfiqur Rahim on Saturday night. The very next night, Tamim managed Mahmudullah for a 40-minute long live show.
“I think Saifuddin has the ability to become a big player in Bangladesh’s set-up. He can play big shots. We also have Afif Hossain. I believe he also has the potential to become a big name. At the same time, we have Mosaddek Hossain as well,” Mahmudullah said when Tamim asked him about who could play the big roles in the lower middle order like him.
In the meantime, Mahmudullah didn’t miss the chance to hail Tamim as the best batsman of Bangladesh. He said: “You are undoubtedly the best batsman of Bangladesh. Almost all of Bangladesh’s batting records belong to you. I believe you will have more in the coming days. I also try to play well in the lower order. Sometimes I deliver well and sometimes I fail. I think I have to work more to perform consistently.
During his early days in the national team, Mahmudullah wasn’t a hard-hitting batsman. He changed his batting style during the 2015 World Cup in Australia, in which, he smashed back to back centuries against England and New Zealand. Mahmudullah said he further developed his batting under the guidance of Bangladesh’s former coach Chandika Hathurusingha.
“It was four years ago when we had a practice camp in Khulna under Chandika. I worked with him personally to develop my mentality and skill-hitting ability. I used to take a few balls right after going to the wicket to gain some confidence. But now, I can play with the same confidence from the very first ball,” Mahmudullah added.
Soumya Sarkar's memorable fastest test century bat and Taskin Ahmed's favourite hat-trick ball have been sold out at Tk 4.5 lakh and at Tk 4 lakh respectively in an online auction on Sunday night.
A bank has bought these two from auction. However, name of the bank is yet to be disclosed.
The entire amount will be spent for the Coronavirus victims of the country.
Soumya decided to put the bat with which he scored his only century in the Test against New Zealand last year on auction. That was a record of fastest century for Bangladesh in Tests. He scored the Test century off just 94 balls.
Taskin Ahmed also announced to put on auction the ball with which he grabbed a great hat-trick in the ODI against Sri Lanka in 2017. Since then, no one picked-up a hat-trick for Bangladesh in ODIs.
Shakib’s bat auction house Auction 4 Action, which sold Shakib's bat at Tk 20 lakh, also auctioned off Soumya’s bat and Taskin’s hat-trick ball last night (Sunday night).
Both Soumya and Taskin joined Auction 4 Action’s Facebook Live during the auction.
The auction house "Auction 4 Action" did not disclose the name of the buyer bank. The name will be announced after receiving the money from the buyer.
Earlier, two former captains of Bangladesh cricket team Mushfiqur Rahim and Mohammad Ashraful will also put their favourite bats on auction. Mushfiqur will put the bat on auction which he had used to score the country’s first double century in the Test cricket.
Ashraful will put on auction his two bats with which he scored the maiden Test century which made him the youngest Test centurion of the world on debut and the bat which he used to score a historical century to beat the then all conquering Australian team.