All speculation regarding the head coach position of the national cricket team were put to rest when Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) president Nazmul Hassan announced the appointment of former South Africa coach Russell Domingo to the post during a press conference in Mirpur yesterday.
Former New Zealand coach Mike Hesson was linked with the Tigers and was one of the top names on the BCB’s shortlist while Mickey Arthur, the former Pakistan coach, was also in consideration. However, Domingo toppled those high-profile names, among others, as he was the best fit for the Tigers according to the criteria set out by the BCB.
Among the different criteria, Hassan pointed to availability as the prime criterion and that played a crucial part behind appointing Domingo.
“There were certain criteria that we thought were most important while choosing the head coach and if we go one by one then the first criterion would be ‘availability’. There were many who wanted the role but they are not available at the moment and cannot join the team now. So, availability played a great role while appointing the head coach,” Hassan told reporters at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium.
“Another thing that we considered was who would be able to join the team on a full-time basis. Taking these into consideration -- who would be able to join us now and on a full-time basis -- we were left with two names. From them, we selected Russell Domingo,” the BCB president explained.
Bangladesh will be looking to develop promising youngsters that are coming through the pipeline with the aim of rotating the team from time to time. With Domingo being selected mainly on the basis of his availability, the appointment could pan out well as the South African can work more with youngsters and groom them.
However, coaches’ tenures ending prematurely has been a common theme for Bangladesh cricket for a while.
Chandika Hathurusingha, under whom Bangladesh had the most success -- reaching the quarterfinals of the 2015 World Cup and recording ODI series wins against Pakistan, India and South Africa and historic Test wins against England and Australia -- left the job with almost two years remaining on his contract. The 50-year old submitted his resignation to BCB on November 9, 2017 after a disappointing tour of South Africa.
His successor and the last man to hold the post, Steve Rhodes, who was initially appointed till the T20 World Cup in 2020, also failed to complete his tenure. The BCB parted ways with him last month in an attempt to revamp the backroom staff following the World Cup in England.
After more than a month of seeing the head coach position vacant, the BCB appointed Domingo on a two-year contract. The 44-year old South African is set to arrive in Dhaka on August 21 to take charge but it remains to be seen whether he can fulfil what is expected of him or if he will follow the path of his predecessors.