Bangladesh cricket October 6, 2008

I no longer felt required - Bashar

Cricinfo staff

Habibul Bashar: "I sincerely hope the BCCI uses the 'phase-out' policy in a better way than the Bangladesh Cricket Board" © AFP

Habibul Bashar, the former Bangladesh captain, has said he was prompted to join the ICL because of the lack of respect and importance shown to him by the team management. He has also criticized the Bangladesh board's decision to axe several senior players at the same time (after the 2007 World Cup) and said he hoped the Indian board would not do the same.

"Towards the end of my international career, I became a lonely figure. I didn't command the same respect from the guys," he was quoted as saying in the Times of India. "I would sit alone in the dressing room. During critical situations, nobody would come to me for any suggestion, though I was the senior-most guy. A feeling crept in that you were no longer required."

Asked whether he discussed this with Mohammad Ashraful, his successor as captain, Bashar said he didn't feel comfortable speaking about it with a junior cricketer. "More than Ashraful, it is coach Jamie Siddons whose behaviour amazed me," Bashar said. "I have never said a single word against him in the media and this man is not leaving a single opportunity to take a dig at somebody who has played 99% of Bangladesh's Test matches."

The composition of the Bangladesh team underwent a radical change after senior players including Bashar, Javed Omar and Mohammed Rafique lost their place in the one-day side soon after the 2007 World Cup. "The trouble started after the India series that followed the World Cup. Suddenly, the board and the team management went for a complete overhaul," Bashar said. "Introducing five or six juniors simultaneously at the international level is foolish. I sincerely hope the BCCI uses the 'phase-out policy' in a better way than the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB)."

Bashar said he would have retired from international cricket in any case but was hurt about being banned for ten years by his cricket board. "I know they (the BCB) are dependent on Indian sponsors and the Indian board. I can't blame them for their stand. It's just that having played so many years for the country, the term 'banned Habibul Bashar' really hurts."

Bashar was named the captain of the ICL team Dhaka Warriors, who start their campaign on 11th October.