Bangladesh batsman Imrul Kayes said the Tigers want to forget their disastrous end of the past year and look forward to start the new year on a good note with the tri-nation ODI series against Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe.
The Tigers had a dreadful end to international cricket last year as they lost all the seven international matches – Test matches, ODIs and T20Is - during their tour of South Africa. The situation worsened after the side’s head coach Chandika Hathurusingha resigned from his post. He later took up the job of his home country Sri Lanka.
“We cannot keep on thinking of what happened in the past. We need to focus on the upcoming series and concentrate on how we can perform better in future. It is better to plan for next series,” Imrul told the media at Mirpur Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Dhaka Friday.
“We have already established ourselves as a dangerous side in our condition and the opposition will not take us easy. But it is always better to show that on the field rather than talking about it,” he said.
Issues between Hathurusingha and the players have been widely reported recently. There have also been reports of the former Sri Lanka cricketer favouring cricketers who were in his good book.
The biggest unrest during Hathurusingha’s Bangladesh regime came during their tour of Sri Lanka in early 2017 regarding the exclusion of regular players from the Test and T20I teams. The series ended with the then T20I captain Mashrafe bin Mortaza resigning from his post in the first of the two-match T20I series against the Lankans. The second game in that series was captained by Shakib al Hasan.
Imrul was queried of the post-Hathurusingha era in the dressing room but the left-handed batsman for obvious reasons could not state much on record.
“As you can see the atmosphere is calm now (smiles). The players know [Khaled Mahmud] Sujon bhai for a long time. I have seen him in the academy since my early days as a player and he has been a guide to me. I will try to use this advantage and I am sure the other players will do the same,” said Imrul.
The BCB is yet to sign a long-term head-coach for the Tigers. In the tri-series, followed by the Test and T20I series against the Lankans, the Tigers will be guided by former Bangladesh skipper and BCB director Mahmud as the team’s technical director while Richard Halsall will perform his duty as the assistant coach. The board has put the captains Mashrafe and Shakib in charge to manage the team for the series. Mashrafe is the ODI captain while Shakib is the skipper of the Test and T20I sides.
Commenting on the role of the two captains, Imrul said, “Mashrafe bhai always inspires us. He is a very good leader of the team and we have tasted a lot of success under his leadership. He always supports players, whether they are in or out of form. Shakib on the other hand is very experienced. He has a lot of experience playing abroad and his knowledge can benefit us. I think it is positive for Bangladesh cricket,” he concluded.