ICC Cricket World Cup South Africa 2003 |
Reasons behind WC debacle
It has been five days since the two-member inquiry committee submitted its findings on Bangladesh's debacle in the 2003 World Cup.
While everybody was guessing at the contents of the much-talked about investigation done by commodore Mujibur Rahman (retd) and former secretary Syed Shamim Ahsan, Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) president Ali Asgar was apparently in no hurry to disclose the 31-page document.
Asgar's attempt at buying time is contrary to his earlier decision to reveal all as soon he gets hold of the report.
It was learnt that the probe committee in its strongly worded report blamed five characters for Bangladesh's disastrous campaign in South Africa, where the national team lost five of their six preliminary World Cup matches including defeats against minnows Canada and Kenya.
Even Asgar himself was found at fault for the way he handled the appointment of former Pakistan paceman Mohsin Kamal as national coach and his reported statement that the repair of a bowling machine and providing other facilities at the BKSP during the national team's training for the World Cup were secondary issues.
Asgar sacked Australian Trevor Chappell and hired Kamal in consultation with the players, who reportedly termed Trevor not good enough. Here the committee, it was learnt, observed that it was a never heard-of situation that the Board would hire or fire on the recommendations of the players.
The committee reportedly came down very hard on the team management in South Africa. They found there was hardly any relationship between manager (ASM Faruque), coach (Mohsin) and captain (Khaled Mashud) during their time in South Africa.
The lack of dialogue among the three kingpins adversely affected the team spirit.
The committee found Faruque an amiable person who lacked man-management skills. Not only that to its utter surprise the manager failed to draw up a routine day-to-day schedule, also Faruque failed to take the initiative against the captain that they found as an arrogant person lacking self-discipline.
They observed Mohsin as a person devoid of communication skills in either English or his mother tongue Urdu. Mohsin was the only coach in the World Cup not to use any software technology and despite being given a video camera he did not employ it for a single day. Also he did not think it necessary ask his boys to watch the highlights of the day's game thus depriving them a chance to analyse their performance and where to improve.
The principal character in the eyes of the committee was the crest-fallen Bangladesh captain. Mashud was reportedly branded arrogant, rude in his dealings with the other members of the team and lacked total discipline.
The committee believed that Mashud took advantage of BCB's inaction in response to his threat of resignation, which he made public prior to the team's departure for South Africa.
It was unfortunate that first Mashud, who was leading the team to the World Cup, issued such a statement and the Board did not take any appropriate action to counter the threat. Any other Board would have under similar circumstances removed the captain. Due to the non-action by the Board, it gave Mashud the impression that he was indispensable.
The committee reportedly smelled something sinister about Mashud performance behind the wicket against Kenya. He dropped three catches in the crucial game. This match came under scrutiny for some other reasons.
It was understood that the night before the match Mashud was seen outside the hotel well after midnight.
The committee reportedly questioned that his showing against Kenya was guided by any ill motive and even suggested the BCB to carry out a further investigation on the issue.
The probe body allegedly questioned the role of cricket committee chairman Mahabubul Anam on two grounds. Firstly, he failed to provide video clips of other teams to the Bangladesh team management and allowing Gordon Greenidge to work as a batting consultant in Namibia before the World Cup. He did it without consulting coach Mohsin.
Last but not least, the selection committee headed by Aliul Islam was found wanting regarding the knowledge of different players. But Aliul shifted the blame on outside influence.