Vol. 4 Num 76 Mon. August 11, 2003  

'We'll form a good team'
Faruque made new chief selector

The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) cast aside traditional values when it picked up a young set of minds to form the new selection committee.

The Board named former national captain Faruque Ahmed as chief selector when it announced a three-member national selection committee yesterday. Athar Ali Khan, a former national opener, and GM Nowsher Prince are the other members of the new panel.

Among the three contemporary cricketers, who represented the country during the 90s, left-arm paceman Prince has served as a selector of the previous committee headed by Aliul Islam.

Aliul, who was at the centre of controversy during his nearly year-long reign, resigned immediately after announcing the Bangladesh squad for Australia on June 14.

However, the formation of a new panel fulfilled the Board's commitment to follow the prescription of the much-talked-about probe report on Bangladesh's disastrous performance in the South Africa World Cup early this year.

The two-member probe committee led by Commodore Mojibur Rahman in its sensational findings recommended that it would ideal if selectors were chosen from ex-national players who have good knowledge of the goings of local cricket and a better understanding of the present cricketers.

Faruque, 37, and Athar are not only very prominent names among the present cricketers but also have played in the Dhaka League last year.

While Faruque almost led an unheralded City Club to the glory before stumbling at the final hurdle Athar on the other hand was involved in the battle of survival for Bangladesh Biman.

"It is not a hot seat as many described. I would rather call it a position that sometimes evokes controversies because you can not satisfy everybody," said Faruque while talking about his new assignment to The Daily Star Sport from Cox's Bazar on Sunday.

Faruque, who led Bangladesh during their unsuccessful 1994 ICC Trophy campaign in Kenya, has been regarded as one of the hardest hitter of the ball. But he remained an enigma in international cricket despite having all the virtues of a complete player.

But the right-hander is excited about his new job only two weeks after managing the Bangladesh A team to Sri Lanka.

"I think we can make it a very good team because we have played cricket together for a long time. Athar is a very good thinker. Besides, we are still very much involved with local cricket and know the present cricketers," said arguably the youngest ever chief selection of the country.

"I don't think age should be a barrier for being a chief selector. We three have 20 years of playing experience behind us. Besides, if you look around you will find international cricketers who have just left the game, performing the responsibility of national selector," said Faruque.

Faruque and his men will get down to business on August 13 when they sit with coach Dav Whatmore to finalise the Bangladesh squad for the tour of Pakistan.

But he said that the towering presence of Whatmore, who has been calling all the shots since taking over the demanding job in June, would not a hindrance rather offer a great deal of support.

"I think our job is clearly defined. Whatmore will be working with a set group of players and we are there to help him pick those individuals. We will give him feedback on the talent on offer based on our experience. I'm sure we will form a good team," observed Faruque.

Faruque said that one of his priorities would be to instill a professional approach.

"I would like to see at least one of us travelling to watch National League matches or any relevant competition being staged outside Dhaka. We will be scouting for all national selections not only the main Bangladesh squad."