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March 30, 2011
Ian Pont has decided not to extend his contract as the Bangladesh bowling coach once it expires on March 31. Pont had signed on in September 2010 to coach the team for a specific period of time and while he had been in talks with the BCB about an extension, Pont confirmed to ESPNcricinfo that he will be returning home on April 1 to coach at the Mavericks Cricket Institute academy, which he founded.
"I came came on a short-term contract," Pont said in his statement. "But for me to make a long-term commitment and relinquish my UK coaching business, I needed a more viable arrangement. We couldn't come to any agreement on that subject."
Under Pont's tutelage, Bangladesh's bowling improved as they won seven out of eight ODIs at the end of 2010. The team had a chance to qualify for the quarter-finals of the World Cup after beating England, but the batting crumbled in crucial games against West Indies and South Africa.
The bowlers had a better tournament, with Shafiul Islam in particular impressing in the games against Associate sides Ireland and Netherlands. "We have been successful in parts but in the past six months we simply haven't been able to do many of the basics right to be consistent," Pont said. "That said we have still won 10 of our last 14 ODIs. I think most countries and most coaches around the world would be happy with that record."
Pont was all praise for the Bangladesh fans, calling them "amazing". "They are emotional and perhaps need to apply more logic in some situtations, but you cannot fault their enthusiasm. I felt they helped us beat New Zealand in the "4-0 Banglawash". With good scouting and development coaching, I am certain that Bangladesh cricket can make a real impression in the world."
Despite deciding not to renew his contract, Pont would like to stay involved with Bangladesh cricket in some capacity so he can help develop the next generation of fast bowlers. "I feel this is a vital ingredient for replicating what Sri Lanka has been able to do, for example, in the same sort of time frame," Pont said. "Developing the pace bowling unit is going to make the Bangladesh cricket far more competitive."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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