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April 29, 2008
Mohammad Ashraful, the Bangladesh captain, has endured a grilling from the Bangladesh Cricket Board over the side's poor showing in Pakistan this month. The team suffered a comprehensive 5-0 loss in the ODI series and was beaten in the Twenty20 international but Ashraful was initially keen to find positives from the whitewash, telling reporters upon returning home that his side "played competitive cricket".
However, he changed his tune after a meeting with the board members Gazi Ashraf Hossain, Shafiqur Rahman Munna and Ahmed Sajjadul Alam. "The board arranged the meeting after this Pakistan series as they are very much worried about our recent poor performances," Ashraful told the Daily Star. "And undoubtedly our performance was not good in the last couple of series.
"We may have some individual achievements in the series but no doubt as a team our performance was not up to any mark. But we have to play cricket with a positive frame of mind."
He said the team's lack of experience should still be taken into account. "I played more than hundred one-day internationals and good number of Test matches, but you have to consider the age while talking about experience," he said. "I believe we can reach a standard if the current crop of players play together for a period of time."
Ashraf, the chairman of the BCB's cricket operations committee, said the board was displeased with the team's efforts in Pakistan. "We watched the performance on TV screen that's why we have had the idea about their approach on the field," Ashraf said. "We made one thing clear that we totally disagreed with their explanation and observations about their poor showing."
As well as meeting with Ashraful and the vice-captain Mashrafe Mortaza, the board members sat down with the rest of the squad to discuss their concerns. "This kind of meeting was first since we have taken the responsibility," Ashraf said. "What we felt is that there was a need for interactions between players and the officials to find a way. We just cannot sit over a disaster after another, rather we have to motivate them by taking necessary actions.
"I don't believe we can take comfort after putting on only 200 runs on the board. We are not in a stage to think like that. We are not ready to hear the same old explanations any more."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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