NCL: Indeed a serious business!
At the start of yesterday, all the fuss was about the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) taking action against premier all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan for allegedly breaching his contract to sign a sponsorship deal with a top mobile phone operator.
By the end of the day, however, it was BCB president Nazmul Hassan who grabbed the attention when he instructed that nine players -- engaged in the third round of the National Cricket League (NCL) -- were being called up for today's practice match ahead of the tour of India.
That sudden decision was yet another example of a lack of foresight from the board. The BCB has long been criticised for making impulsive decisions and forming stopgap solutions. Yesterday was no different, with Nazmul strolling into the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur and the realisation dawning that newly-appointed spin consultant Daniel Vettori needed more spinners to work with.
"We have two practice matches, scheduled for Sunday and Monday. A spin coach like Vettori is here and there are no spinners here. The team will play T20Is and Test matches against a strong Indian side but the coach is not being able to see the spinners. He can only observe two players -- Arafat Sunny and [Aminul Islam] Biplob. He does not have options," Hassan, whose prime task is to make managerial decisions but who seemed to be relieving the selectors' stress by deciding which players needed to be observed, said.
Was it only when Hassan saw leg-spinner Aminul being mentored that he realised what the other spinners were missing out on? Or is it that the BCB, who have emphasised long-term planning, only came to know Vettori's itinerary now? Should the BCB not be aware of all the schedules of national cricketers and make plans accordingly?
Answers would show that what happened yesterday only proved how careless the board has been when sketching out tour plans. Add to that the fact that only three of the nine summoned players were spinners and that indicates that the board has made sudden plans to gauge others.
The ongoing 21st edition of the NCL created a lot of buzz with the BCB increasing the fitness bar and emphasising on participation of national cricketers. But is summoning nine players out of the blue and disrupting the regular procedure a way of considering the NCL as a serious business?
SUMMONED PLAYERS: Sabbir Rahman, Md Mithun, Nazmul Hossain, Ebadot Hossain, Nayeem Hasan, Yasir Ali, Abu Hider, Rishad Hossain and Mehedi Hasan Miraz.