Bangladesh head coach Russell Domingo wants to act as a conduit between the players and the BCB president who openly criticised the Bangladesh players recently in the media, and gave them strict instructions to tell him everything about team affairs. Domingo and captain Mominul Haque had to field several questions about the statements made by BCB chief Nazmul Hassan, with both offering smiles and trying to deflect the matter.
On Tuesday, Hassan said that the team management must inform him of their intentions and game plans, including the exact batting line-up the day before. They cannot change their plans once he is informed, he said. Hassan also said that he has no confidence in the team beating Zimbabwe in the one-off Test starting Saturday, mainly because they lost to Afghanistan in September.
It elicited a strong reaction among the fans in Bangladesh, with many accusing Hassan of being too hands-on with his approach with the team. Domingo, however, defused the questions in the pre-match press conference.
“Remember, I come from South Africa, a lot of trouble goes in there,” Domingo said, with laughter around the media conference room. “It is not like I am coming from England or Australia where it’s easy where you do what you want to. I come from South Africa. It is tough there as well; selection is not easy. There’s people with a lot of opinions and agendas. It is part of my job, and I have to deal with it [and] make the most of it.
“The important thing for me is that I keep the players and the captains away from it. I have to be the in-between guy. It is a big role but I have done it before in South Africa. There’s a lot of trouble and challenges, so no different for me. I am cool with it.”
Domingo said that he has had “passionate” discussions with Hassan, and claimed that there hasn’t been a case of anyone telling him or the captain that they have to report the team details to the president.
“My dealings with president is very passionate about the team,” he said. “He wants the team to do really well. I haven’t spoken to him as yet. I have had some good practice sessions in the last week.
“I haven’t been officially told about that I need to tell anyone about the team. I am not under any impression that I need to do it, as yet. I am as passionate about the team as the president. I am paid a salary to make decisions and do my work.”
Domingo confirmed that they will continue with two seamers, as he felt there was a bit of movement during early morning training sessions in Mirpur in the last few days. “We will probably go with two seamers. I don’t think it benefits our team playing just one seamer. Three seamers would have been perfect if we had a guy who could bat at No 7. Until [Mohammad] Saifuddin is fit or we find the guy who can bat at No. 7 and bowl 10 or 15 overs a day first, we will probably go with two seamers.
“There was a little bit of moisture in the nets around 10am this morning. There’s little bit of winter still around so the first 10 to 12 overs tomorrow could still be tricky. If we end up bowling first tomorrow, seamers have to be on the money. We need two seamers to exploit if there is anything on the wicket.”