Mushfiqur 'shocked' he wasn't consulted about Asia Cup squad
Mushfiqur Rahim, the Bangladesh captain, has expressed his shock at not being consulted by the chief selector Faruque Ahmed before the 15-man squad for the upcoming Asia Cup was picked.
"It [Bangladesh's Asia Cup squad] is not a subject that I am happy about," Mushfiqur said. "I have to play with the team I am given. It is the selectors' duty to pick the 15-man squad. But I am unhappy that the selectors didn't consult me before making the team. In that sense, I am shocked. I wasn't aware of the inclusions and the exclusions."
The general practice has been for the selection committee to pick the squad and for the captain and coach to have a final say on the playing XI. In both cases, the selectors and the management have usually consulted each other whenever necessary, with varying degree.
According to Mushfiqur, however, Faruque did not have a word with him regarding this particular squad, which was announced a few hours after Bangladesh's six-wicket loss against Sri Lanka in the third ODI in Mirpur on Saturday.
"This is the first time such a thing has happened. I expected him to call me ahead of squad selection for the Asia Cup," he said. "Whether he would have taken my opinion was a different matter, I expected him to talk to me about it."
Mahmudullah, Shafiul Islam and the injured Tamim Iqbal, who were in the ODI squad against Sri Lanka, made way for Imrul Kayes, Ziaur Rahman and Abdur Razzak. Imrul scored a maiden Test century recently upon returning to the side after two years, while Ziaur has finally found form in domestic cricket. Razzak is expected to remain as one of Bangladesh's first-choice spinners.
Tamim's neck strain has kept him out of the tournament while Mahmudullah has made just six runs in the three ODIs against Sri Lanka. However, ESPNcricinfo understands that Mushfiqur was mainly unhappy with the exclusion of the seamer Shafiul, who played the third ODI against Sri Lanka.
Some directors at the BCB have already noticed a difficult relationship between Mushfiqur and the new chief selector. One of them said that rather than going public, the captain could have discussed the matter internally.
"I think there is a gap between these two that needs to be reduced. Mushfiqur could have easily held an open discussion with BCB's cricket operations chairman Akram Khan," a BCB director requesting anonymity, said.
Nonetheless, Mushfiqur said that he was looking forward to working with the team despite the way things had gone down.
"He (Faruque) has returned after a long time, so his thinking might not match ours. It could also be miscommunication, Mushfiqur said. "Our bonding will be better the more we talk and work with each other.
"I think any captain deserves to know about the team. I am not aware why it happened in this way. I wish the 15 players well. We will play our best cricket with these players."
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. He tweets here