Vol. 5 Num 418 Sat. July 30, 2005  

Ex-skippers find BCB's captain policy faulty

The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) might have done a simple job when they stuck to their policy of announcing the national captain on tour-by-tour basis, but some former national skippers believed it was not a good idea to keep a leader under pressure.

Expectedly, Habibul Bashar was retained as captain for the tour of Sri Lanka but the Tigers captain still advocated a long-term announcement.

"I don't want to make any comments about the board decision but my personal opinion is that it would be nice for a captain to know that his job is secured for a certain period of time," said Bashar, the most successful batsman and skipper in the country in his own right.

His two predecessors Gazi Ashraf Hossain and Akram Khan also believed it would be good for the Bangladesh team if the policy was changed as soon as possible. They also added the time has come to allow a captain enjoy more power.

"It's not a good idea to keep a captain under pressure. A captain should have his say in the selection procedure and it could only be possible if he is in charge for a long period of time. The captain should be the central character (in the team) and everything should revolve around him. But unfortunately, our captain has little power to catch the spotlight," said Gazi Ashraf.

The former national skipper, who was a part of the Bangladesh team in their historic ICC Trophy triumph as manager, said that it was about time that this practice took place.

"Bashar has been doing very well and gradually showing his maturity and I think there is no one in the team to challenge him right at the moment. The board can take the opportunity to switch from the old policy.

"A captain should have the power to place his arguments on the selection table because without that he can't motivate his side on the field and make any plan for the next game," he added.

Ashraf said that the captain's form should not be an issue before taking the decision.

"Many say it is impossible because of the inconsistency our batsmen show so often. But I must say it's a stupid logic because nobody's job is granted. When a captain knows his job is not under threat for a certain period, he would be able to play his natural game," he explained.

Another former captain Akram Khan also echoed the same sentiment and said it looks funny when everybody wants the captain to show responsibility when he virtually has no power.

"Why should he be accountable with his present status? It's pressure for a captain to wait for the announcement to come ahead of another tournament or series. In the end a captain should explain everything but the truth is he is never the part of the think-tank," said the burly batsman.

"I think a captain can play in a more relaxed manner if we change the present policy. And I must say the board can apply the long-term policy with Bashar because he is by far the best player in the team," he added.

Minhajul Abedin Nannu, however, said that the ball was in Bashar's court.

"If he feels that he needs more power, he should approach that to the board. He has to understand his position because it's a very important job," said the former national skipper.