Shadow national team causes confusion in the ranks
Despite existing platforms such as the Bangladesh A team and High Performance Squad, Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) president Nazmul Hasan informed that the board is planning to form a shadow national team named 'Bangla Tigers' in order to further bolster the pipeline.
BCB director and CCDM (Cricket Committee of Dhaka Metropolis) chairman Kazi Inam Ahmed and BCB director Khaled Mahmud were charged with responsibility for the Bangla Tigers, a team that will be aimed towards providing round-the-year training facilities for players who are dropped from the national set-up. On the surface, it is quite similar to what the Bangaldesh A team is intended to do under the supervision of the BCB's Cricket Operations department led by former captain Akram Khan.
Surprisingly, Akram seemed perplexed about the Bangla Tigers.
"I am unclear about the plans for the Bangla Tigers. In fact, I haven't discussed it. I have to sit and talk with them. The main purpose of the A team is to provide a platform for players who are dropped from the national team alongside players who have potential to play for the national team. To be honest, I am still confused about this issue," Akram told the media on Wednesday.
However, Kazi Inam held a press conference the very same day to describe the actual plans for the Bangla Tigers. According to this board director, the idea of forming a shadow national team actually involves Bangladesh's three current captains across formats.
"Our plan is to involve the three captains of the three formats. I had a chat with Tamim Iqbal, Mominul Haque and Mahmudullah Riyad and they all know about this. They were present when we discussed this issue with the BCB president. They all are excited and they also have some advice. Suppose we are not getting a hard-hitter in the white-ball formats, someone who can bat at number six or seven. If we have a year-long programme, then we can easily pick and choose suitable players," Inam explained.
It was also learned that the idea of preparing a shadow national team came from ODI skipper Tamim.
It will be interesting to see whether the board can synergise the shadow national team with their other teams and whether it ultimately bears fruit or remains just another gimmick. Only time will tell.