Inconsistencies In The Choice Of Strategies To Impede The Bangladesh's Hopes > Cricket News, cricinfo, mobilecric, cricbuzz, livescore and more

Cricket news - Inconsistent selection policies hamper Bangladesh-hopefuls

Nurul Hasan is one of the many affected by selection policies

During the last official press conference ahead of the Sri Lanka tour, Bangladesh's ODI skipper Mashrafe Mortaza insisted that it was time to back youngsters.

After he was injured minutes later, followed by ruling out of Saifuddin, Bangladesh opted to include Taskin Ahmed and veteran Farhad Reza in the squad though none of them featured in the series.

It was just one of the many instances where two-member selection panel, comprising of chief selector Minhajul Abedin and Habibul Bashar, failed to show a vision of long term planning.

Take the case of Yasir Ali who was picked but didn't get any chance at the international level. The selectors usually argue that they are grooming national prospects by providing them with a chance to be in the national dressing room.

If that was the case then the selection of veteran Farhad (who played for Bangladesh even before Shakib Al Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahim) for the tri-nation series in Ireland and in the just-concluded tour of Sri Lanka but not giving him any opportunity cannot be justified as 'grooming'.

Farhad, a seasoned campaigner in the domestic circuit made his debut in 2006, played 34 ODIs and 13 T20Is but last played for Bangladesh in any format in 2014.

While his return to the national set-up after such a long time seemed a breath of fresh air considering that it meant the selectors are not ignoring domestic performers, him not getting any chance only suggests that it was an eyewash nonetheless.

"This wait [to get a chance] is very hard to bear considering it can be extremely demotivating," a frustrated Farhad told Cricbuzz.

"Most of the time during this time frame before coming into the national radar, my prime job was to keep myself fit and more importantly have the hunger to perform and it is not easy at all to be honest," he said.

Farhad, who is stationed in Rajshahi Division, had to make sure that he follows a program designed by his trainer Tusar Kanti Howlader, who is also an employee of Bangladesh Cricket Board.

"I only come to Dhaka when there is game but apart from that I stay mostly in Rajsjhahi and during this time most of the time I have to work on my own at the Divisional Stadium. Tusar da plans a program for me and I follow that which later is distributed among others who work on their own in our division," he says.

"I am working in this manner for quite some time just to make sure that I can perform at the domestic level as it is the only way to prove my worth to the national selectors. And probably I am chosen due to performance in the domestic level but if I am not getting a chance to prove my worth at the international [level] how can anyone say whether I have the potential or not to succeed at the highest level?" he asks.

"During the last five years I am quite consistent across formats in the domestic level but at the end in the last five years, I didn't get any chance. So how can you say that I can't do well? In fact I didn't get any chance, so how can I prove myself," says a disappointed Farhad. "I have to play first. I played cricket (in domestic level). So I need opportunity to play (international) matches. Then I can prove whether I can perform or not," he adds.

National selector Habibul Bashar defended their decision saying that Farhad is not a future prospect but rather an immediate replacement though there is no sign that indicates this replacement will ever get a chance to prove his mettle.

"He is not having the chance to play but we are keeping him ready. Because he is doing well in the domestic circuit we are keeping him in the preparation camp so that he is ready. There are some players who are in the High Performance that we are considering as future prospects. We are keeping players like Farhad too so that we can use him if the team requires," argues selector Habibul Bashar.

If the inclusion of Farhad can be debated, the selectors not picking Nurul Hasan in the 35-member preliminary camp raises more questions. That he is considered a future prospect is not in doubt after Nurul was picked as the captain for BCB XI in the two-day practice game against Afghanistan.

Nurul is arguably the best wicket-keeper Bangladesh. There are few who deny that he could be the next big thing in country's cricket considering the talent he possesses as a batsman.

According to Khaled Mahmud, West Indian great Brian Lara was in love with Nurul's footwork during his stint as the mentor of Chittagong Kings during his maiden appearance in this role in the country's lone cash-rich Twenty20 tournament. Mahmud was the head coach of Chittagong Kings during that edition.

Even Mortaza has regretted on many an occasion that Nurul hasn't got the backing he deserves. Nurul is currently nowhere in the selectors' radar considering he is not included in the 35-member preliminary squad that they formed ahead of the upcoming home series that includes one-off Test series against Afghanistan and the following Twenty20 tri-nation tournament that involves Zimbabwe as the third team.

It is quite surprising that selectors did not consider him even in the 35-member preliminary camp despite choosing him to represent BCB XI in the Dr (Capt) K. Thimmappiah Memorial tournament at the Alur in India. During the tournament in six innings, Nurul scored two half centuries highlighting his form.

The inclusion of Nurul, who has played three Tests, two ODIs and nine Twenty20 internationals, was important for the player's motivation as well as validate what the selectors said earlier - 'We are sending our second best side to India'.

Nurul echoes Farhad's sentiments when he says, "It's really hard to be motivated in such situations when you are in the national team camp but not included in 35-member squad and top of that I was in a good touch. I always try to motivate myself. I think to become a big player you have to be strong mentally. So from that perspective, I try not to keep these in mind.

"I have been with the national team for last three-four years like this. I always think about me being dropped at any time. If I think about it a lot, I may get down mentally. So I should not think about it. But I might be dropped at any moment and it is not in my hand. There is no certainty to be back even if I play well," he adds.

"I personally appointed a trainer. I selected a different coach for batting and wicket-keeping. I have to take initiative to fix my career. So I'm progressing. And I think own satisfaction is more important than being too worried about where should I play. I just have to give 100 percent while I work. So if I don't get opportunities at least I can say I have tried my best," says Nurul wistfully.

Chief selector Minhajul Abedin says that though they have not included Nurul in the preliminary squad, he is expected to feature against Sri Lanka A.

"We will be playing him [Nurul] with Sri Lanka A while there will be other opportunities for him as well," said Minhajul.

The explanation only raises more questions over their planning. If someone can be considered to represent the Bangladesh A team in the future and not be included in the 35-member preliminary camp, then on what basis are they drawing the roadmap for the future of Bangladesh cricket. They would need to come up with a better plan of action that doesn't make a seasoned campaigner feel unwanted while the young ones don't begrudge them for lack of opportunity.

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