Bangladesh v Australia, 3rd ODI, Mirpur April 13, 2011

You've got to stick with this team - Siddons

Jamie Siddons departed the Bangladesh coaching job by imploring his successors to persevere with the young team he has mentored for most of his four-year tenure. Having watched his side slide to a 3-0 series defeat against Australia, the world's No.1 limited-overs team, Siddons pointed to the progress made on his watch, exemplified in the final match when Bangladesh scored 295 for 6. This was by a distance the home side's highest total against Australia, beating the 250 for 5 in the only Bangladesh defeat of Australia, in Cardiff in 2005.

"When we passed the highest score against Australia that we've ever had, I was a bit emotional then, because I thought that just shows me how much the boys are improving and they're continuing to improve," Siddons said. "And I think it's been a tough series but I think the criticism of our batting has worried me a bit: 210, 229, 295 against Australia, we rarely make those scores against the big teams and now we're doing it quite often.

"We need to bowl better and keep the scores down so that we can get those scores. It was a tough series, world No.1 versus world No.9, but we competed."

While he would have liked to see out the process himself, Siddons said whoever replaced him needed to be willing to persist with a young team, led by the 24-year-old captain Shakib Al Hasan. "If these boys are allowed to grow together for another four years to the next World Cup, you're going to have a lot of good fun and a lot of joy," Siddons said. "We've had a lot of joy with the New Zealand victories and World Cup victories against England and Ireland. We've smashed Zimbabwe the last four series, had a lot of success, and it's all these guys. They're the best 15.

"There might be one or two come in and out because of form or injury, but you've got to stick with them, and you've got to trust them and stop being negative when they fail - they're 23, 22 years old. There are no 33, 34, 36-year-old Ricky Pontings or Kumar Sangakkaras to hold them together yet, you've got to give them a chance to develop. You can't bring back Habibul Bashar and ask him to be Ricky Ponting because he's not. You've got to let them develop."

Siddons leaves Bangladesh with much good will behind him and will return to Australia before he decides where next to take his coaching career. There was plenty of emotion in his voice when he spoke of bidding farewell to Shakib and the rest of the team. "I love these boys, I've told them how much I loved working with them, and how much I think they've improved," Siddons said. "Each and every one of them told me how much they thought they'd improved, and that's why I coach, so I'll go away from here a very happy man.

"It's a shame I can't stay, but all good things come to an end. At least I know these boys have learned a lot and are on the way up, at least the group I've been working with."

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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