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September 26, 2007
Mohammad Ashraful, Bangladesh's captain, has called for the appointment of a full-time coach ahead of his side's tour to New Zealand at the end of the year.
"I feel we desperately need a permanent coach, whoever it may be, Shaun [Williams] or anyone else. There is a big difference between a permanent and temporary coach. You can't expect teamwork with a temporary solution," Ashraful told the Daily Star.
The Bangladesh Cricket Board has been looking for a national coach since Dav Whatmore refused a two-year contract extension after spending four years with the team. Interim coach Shaun Williams, who took over in June, was at the helm for a tour of Sri Lanka and the ICC World Twenty20 in South Africa. Neither of the two tours was successful for Bangladesh and the strategies of the team management have been criticised, especially after some haphazard batting in the Twenty20.
National selector and former captain Akram Khan, who was part of the team management during the last two trips, also stressed on the need of a full-time coach. "I was only part of the selection process. I wasn't involved in game planning," he said. "Actually the captain and coach have the big role behind the planning. What I want to say is that we should have come out from the short-term solution immediately about the coach."
However, he expressed his satisfaction over the Twenty20 performance. "I think our performance was not bad because we fulfilled our target but the problem is that we were not consistent enough in any form of the game," he said. "What I felt was that our team couldn't play their natural game with the expectations getting higher."
Chief selector Rafiqul Alam also expressed his satisfaction over Bangladesh's performance in South Africa. "The batting problems might remain in the Twenty20 format but what is most important is that nobody took us lightly. I believe if anybody is good in the five-day game then he will be okay in any format," he said. "We have to shift our focus to the New Zealand trip and I think this year's National Cricket League will be crucial for the players because we are trying many things to make it worthy including the financial encouragement."
Rafiqul also believed that the team needs a permanent coach. "A permanent coach is a very important part but as well as that, we have to find the right man for the job and in that case you have to compromise on time."
Responding to allegations that Ashraful had attitude problems during the Twenty20 and did not listen to anybody during the tour, Rabeed Imam, Bangladesh's media manager, told Cricinfo: "Ashraful is a proactive skipper and he takes initiatives. He is confident enough to take decisions he feels are right and I don't see any justifiable reason why some people should be critical of that. He's also the senior-most pro in the side and has more experience at this level than any other player in the Twenty 20 team.
"He has excellent working relationship with the coach, coaching staff and selectors and they can vouch for that. The players also find him easily approachable as most are his age or near about."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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