Bangladesh Cricket Board president Nazmul Hasan on Friday (September 8) took a swipe at Test skipper Mushfiqur Rahim for being ‘problematic’. The outburst from the BCB boss came a day after Mushfiqur said that he was not very sure of his role in the team during the press conference after losing the second Test against Australia.
There has been talk that Mushfiqur should give up wicketkeeping duties and play in the side as just a batsman, allowing him to concentrate more on his captaincy. If he does, or is forced to give up, the gloves then Liton Das will take up his position behind the stumps. The lessening of burden will also allow Mushfiqur to bat up the order, at number four, and give the batting order added steel.
However, Mushfiqur clarified that he will have a better idea about what he is expected to do in the Test side if the higher-ups come forward and explain it to him. He is still unsure about whether he should continue keeping wickets as he is about his batting position.
“I think the problem lies with him and it is clear,” Nazmul told reporters when asked about the statement made by the Test skipper. “Doesn’t Masharfe do captaincy? He did not face any such problem. I can write it down… Shakib will not face such an issue when he is leading the Twenty20 side.”
“The decision lies with the captain. We can give a strategy from outside but it is the captain who takes the decision,” he said. “Can you make Mashrafe change his mind? If he thinks someone should out to play, he will make sure he goes there,” Nazmul added.
Nazmul also said that Mushfiqur was given the option of playing as the specialist batsman, apart from trying to get him to play at number four.
“We asked him whether he will keep wickets. We have also asked him whether he is interested to bat at number four,” he said. “I have to sit with him and clear these issues.”
Mushfiqur’s captaincy and position in the batting order has been up for debate for a while. Mushfiqur added more fuel to the flames by admitting that he could not even decide his own role in the team.
In the first Test against Sri Lanka, he was asked to give up his gloves for Das, but returned to the role in the next match after an injury of his understudy Liton Das. However, his return behind the stumps has left his batting position uncertain and Mushfiqur admitted he has no control in the matter.
“It is not up to me,” he said in Chittagong. “It was not my decision not to keep wickets in Sri Lanka. I don’t have any problem keeping wickets. I want to contribute to the team in any way possible for as long as I play. It doesn’t matter if I am not the captain or the keeper. I will give my all (even) if I am (asked) to be the 12th man.
“I will do as the team management says. You better ask this question to the higher authorities. It would (also give me a clear idea),” he said.
Mushfiqur remarks have raised a few fundamental question. Who is making these calls? And how much of a say does the captain have in them?