"I don't care what you write about our performance," a Bangladesh cricketer once said to reporters during an informal chat. "But please leave our personal lives and what we do in the dressing room alone."
During Bangladesh's third ODI against New Zealand at the University Oval on Wednesday, after Mushfiqur Rahim's dismissal had left Bangladesh on 41 for four in the 10th over, the broadcast commentators were not talking about the car crash that Bangladesh's innings was shaping up to be. Their words and the pictures on screen resembled not a cricket match but a critique of a soap opera.
Mushfiqur was remonstrating angrily with someone and Tamim Iqbal was trying his best to hold his hand and calm Bangladesh's most famously emotional cricketer down. It gave us an insight into how cricketers behave with each other. 'Us' signifies not just the millions watching around the world but also the few hundred at the ground because it was shown on the giant screen.
Here is the kicker: the scenes were not in front of the makeshift dugout where the players coming in and going out keep their equipment and also sit to catch a closer glimpse of the action. Those scenes were actually taking place inside the visiting team's dressing room -- a place all players consider sacrosanct and sanctuary from the public eye. It is a place they vent their emotions, as Mushfiqur did, and also change clothes. Even those non-players closest to the team are not allowed in.
So why was the world at large witness to this incident? Has it not put an already under-siege Mushfiqur -- injured and suffering -- and the Bangladesh team at large under more pressure?
It is not the Bangladesh team's fault that the venue does not have a sufficiently protected dressing room. Far from pointing fingers at Mushfiqur or Tamim, should we not be asking for the broadcasters and commentators for minimal common sense, and perhaps an apology to the team?