Bangladesh medical staff unhappy with BPL-related injuries
The injury management of Bangladesh cricketers has come under sharp focus after two players who were injured during the BPL had to withdraw from the touring party to Sri Lanka.
Chief selector Akram Khan has called for better monitoring of injuries, along with greater communication between the clubs and franchises, and the national board. "In the national team, we can think of a replacement as soon as someone is injured," Akram said. "It is the opposite in the BPL or for Dhaka club cricket, [because] nobody will listen to the player if he says 'I am injured'. They will always tell him to play. Everyone has to be accountable, but there are gaps in the system which should be plugged."
Akram also held the players responsible for not giving their injuries enough attention. It is perceived that the local players' desire to play all BPL matches stems from the pay disputes from the tournament's first season; none of the local players are willing to take a chance, lest the injuries are used as reasons not to pay, although Mushfiqur Rahim said on Wednesday that BPL franchises are liable to play the players regardless of injuries.
"I have not been in such a position as a selector in the last five years, where so many players [have] turned up injured from a domestic tournament." Akram said. "The physical pain will not go away if you continue to play, [it only] gets worse. Those who had minor injuries have now broken down. There is a proper medical structure in Bangladesh cricket, so the players should take advantage of it."
One of the two players who got injured was Naeem Islam, who hurt his quadriceps while playing for Chittagong Kings just two weeks before the Bangladesh team was scheduled to leave for Sri Lanka. He accidentally stepped on the ball while attempting to stop it, and ended up being stretchered off as a result of the mishap. Chittagong physio Bayezid Ahmed said he did not clear Naeem, but Naeem ended up playing in the second semi-final four days later.
"The decision to play with injury was Naeem's," Bayezid said. "He said he felt better but I never cleared him as fit. I informed the Bangladesh team physio [Vibhav Singh] of his condition, but four days later he decided to play. After February 20, he was no longer in my hands."
Shakib Al Hasan continued to play in the BPL despite minor injuries, and later had to be sent to Australia in order to reduce pressure on his right shin bone, an injury he has had since November last year. Ziaur Rahman also suffered a shoulder injury during the BPL. Only Tamim Iqbal pulled out of Duronto Rajshahi's BPL campaign towards the end, after injuring his left wrist.
Enamul Haque jr was also ruled out of the Test series in Sri Lanka with a hamstring injury he suffered during the BPL final, but neither Enamul nor Naeem informed Vibhav Singh of their injuries after the BPL.
During the domestic Twenty20 competition, the national-team physio asked the franchises to give him player fitness updates, but only a few replied. It left him and the rest of the team management in the dark about the pile-up that landed at their feet just a few days before they were to pick the 15-man Test squad.
"Had we known of them [the injuries] before, it would have been different," Vibhav said. "In the next BPL, the franchises and the medical team need to work together with the national medical staff.
"I did send the franchises an email requesting feedback from their medical staff, but I did not get anything. So it made it a bit difficult for us to gauge where players were because we had no control over their medical concerns. We can make recommendations but at the end of the day it's a separate tournament, so we can just advice."
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent