Rafique and Whatmore in training ground argument
Mohammad Rafique, Bangladesh's left-arm spinner, and Dav Whatmore, the coach, have been involved in an altercation during a training session at the Nondescripts Cricket Club Ground in Colombo.
According to the Dhaka-based Daily Star, the incident took place in front of young Sri Lankan net bowlers and journalists, with Rafique storming out after a heated discussion with Whatmore, claiming Paul Close, the team physiotherapist, wasn't treating his knee injury properly.
Rafique was hit on the right knee during the final one-day international against Sri Lanka and opted to skip training on Tuesday to rest the injury. After being summoned to the ground by Whatmore, Rafique waited for a couple of hours before the argument with Whatmore began.
Rafique later told the newspaper that he wasn't happy about Close's nonchalant attitude to his injury. "He gave me some painkillers and told me to wrap a bandage on my knee this morning. He just visited me casually in my room."
Still in pain, Rafique later went to an orthopedist and was prescribed more medicine, which he claims Close ignored. Close refuted Rafique's comments saying that his condition was being carefully monitored.
"Rafique told me that he had a fracture on his right kneecap in 2003," said Close. "On match day, I gave him ice therapy and next morning we sent him for an X-ray. Dav and I then went to him to explain that it was only a bruise. I told him to rest and gave him medication. Today he was not 100% fit, maybe just good for walking. We know these medicines work and are better for him. We also have to maintain the anti-drugs rules."
Whatmore refused to comment on the incident, saying only that "everybody has seen what has happened. It's an internal problem and hopefully we will make things OK."
Khaled Mashud, the current stand-in captain, subsequently held a meeting with Rafique, Whatmore, Close and MA Latif, the team manager. Latif said a report is likely to be sent to Bangladesh, with the possible imposition of fines on Rafique. "It is not expected but these things can happen. We had a long meeting and I can tell you both of them came out smiling," said Latif, "a report will be sent to Dhaka immediately. Rafique could suffer fines, if not at present, may be in future."
Rafique has previously been involved in another practice ground argument. Last year he sent home in the middle of a Zimbabwe tour on disciplinary grounds, after quarreling with Habibul Bashar, the Bangladesh captain.