Pybus to quit as Bangladesh coach
Richard Pybus has confirmed he will not continue as Bangladesh coach because he feels the terms of his contract and the interference from administration made his position untenable. Pybus had been in the job for about four months, and presided over only the lead up to the World Twenty20 and the tournament itself.
In an interview to ESPNcricinfo, Pybus outlined the reasons for his decision, the root cause being the difference between the terms he agreed with the BCB and the terms that were in the actual contract. Pybus said the BCB wanted him to spend 320 days a year with the Bangladesh team, a commitment he was not ready to make because of family reasons.
The BCB media committee chairman, Jalal Yunus, told ESPNcricinfo that he would only comment on Pybus' claims after a scheduled board meeting, which began at noon in Mirpur.
"The board approached me earlier this year on three occasions to become head coach. I turned them down twice, as I couldn't commit to the amount of time they wanted me to be with the team and in Bangladesh, which was 320 days a year," Pybus said. "I explained that I had family responsibilities that stop me from being away for this amount of time. The third time they approached me, I explained again, in detail, what the issues were.
"I said I could prepare the team in camps, tour with them and be there for all series, but I needed to get home between tours for my family. If they were happy with that, then I could do the job for them. That was when they agreed that I would be able to go home between tours. Their agreement was never made explicit in the contract they presented to me in Dhaka so I refused to sign it. That is the heart of the matter."
Pybus was also upset by how details of his contract with the BCB were revealed to the Bangladesh media. "I got on with the coaching [without a contract] but when details of my contract where leaked to the media and discussed in the public domain, I felt the BCB had made their position clear," he said. "They fundamentally undermined the principles of confidentiality and they went back on their word … They took a confidential contract discussion into the public domain and proceeded to give press statements on it, breaching the privacy and confidentiality expected in contract discussions."
Pybus returned to South Africa after the World Twenty20, in which Bangladesh were knocked out in the first round, and had been in talks to iron out issues with the BCB. Despite numerous emails sent between the two parties, they could not reach consensus.
An additional reason for his decision to quit, Pybus said, was the lack of support he received from the board when he wanted to make certain changes and supplement his coaching with additional information. "I asked for the mandate of authority and responsibility to run the national side without interference from board directors and was given that assurance by board president [Mustafa] Kamal. In reality that was never the case," Pybus said. "My position was undermined consistently by interference from the board, some of whom were not only obstructive, but seemed to be completely ignorant of cricket.
"I couldn't even get the board to sign off on providing healthy sandwiches for the players after training. Players were going down with food poisoning during camps, so I wanted to offer them something better than a fried egg sandwich. I was told I couldn't, because that was all the budget could afford."
During Pybus' tenure, Bangladesh played a series of unofficial matches in Zimbabwe and Trinidad, and won a three-match Twenty20 series against Ireland. They also lost to Scotland, won and lost against Netherlands, and crashed out of the World Twenty20 by losing to New Zealand and Pakistan in the first round.
Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent