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April 26, 2014
Shane Jurgensen, the Bangladesh head coach, faces an uncertain future with some BCB directors wanting a new man with international experience to take charge of the team ahead of the World Cup as the fallout from Bangladesh's woeful World T20 campaign continues. However, the situation could yet be taken out of the BCB's hands with Jurgensen saying he is considering his own future.
It is far from a unanimous view of the board that a new coach is required, but BCB sources have told ESPNcricinfo that the search is on for a coach with a batting background. With less than a year before a major tournament, the appointment must be made by mid-June when Bangladesh take on India in three ODIs. The BCB are also exploring short-term specialised consultants from among the recent crop of retired international players.
"Some of the directors are trying to find a head coach who is more batting oriented," the source said. "We are trying to find a high-profile coach but they are hard to find in this market. We are targeting the 2015 World Cup, so we must have one by June.
"The board would want to make changes after a debacle. It is almost like a rule around the world. We need the right people in place, and that could be consultants who will remedy technical and mental blocks. For the time being, [Shane Jurgensen] will probably stay because we are leaning towards finding more specialists, like former international stars to help us in specific areas."
The rumour mill began whirring last month when BCB president Nazmul Hassan said he foresaw "many changes" in the national team, but he was not specific. The statement was made the day after Bangladesh lost to the West Indies in the Super 10s of the World T20. There were three further losses which fuelled the notion that it would be the coaches who would have their contracts cut short.
In subsequent press briefings, Hassan has eluded that the current set-up may be kept since they have been unable to find suitable replacements all of which has left Jurgensen feeling uneasy
"It [the situation] is not ideal and I am considering my own position at the moment," Jurgensen told ESPNcricinfo. "However I feel I have been subject to this situation ever since I have been given the honour of being the head coach. Having not played Test cricket, I knew I had to prove myself as a team coach and success along with that was important.
"I have had to work extremely hard and adapt to the conditions and circumstances given to us at times. I'd like to think that this has been a huge positive for all players, support staff and myself involved that we have had success despite the circumstances."
Bangladesh's difficult period started in January when they were crushed by Sri Lanka in the first Test, before bouncing back with a drawn game in Chittagong. They lost the T20 and ODI series, albeit through narrow defeats. The Asia Cup brought four defeats, including one to Afghanistan, while their World T20 campaign crumbled when they were shocked by Hong Kong in the first round.
Jurgensen had been asked to provide a report into the performances but he felt that a lack of T20s leading up to the tournament was always going to hold Bangladesh back. In the period between the end of the 2012 World T20 and the start of the 2014 tournament, Bangladesh played seven T20s, winning one. Only India and Zimbabwe of the Full Member nations played fewer matches.
"I gave my views in an extensive report detailing the reasons why for our recent performances," he said. "There are very valid reasons for the World T20 performance. One is purely the lesser number of T20s played before the tournament.
"This was raised as well as other concerns early last year that in 2013 we were only playing four T20 matches and usually all our T20 matches are held at the end of series when the team is decimated with injuries. However there were still quite a few positives from the World T20."
Jurgensen became full-time coach in February 2013 after doing the interim job quite successfully for one series, against West Indies, in 2012. He was given a two-year contract, up to the 2015 World Cup alongside batting and fielding coach Corey Richards, trainer David Dwyer and physio Vibhav Singh.
While Dwyer tendered his resignation last week, the focus has remained on Jurgensen and Richards, with the BCB directors set to on Monday.
What has been most surprising, however, has been the BCB's sudden change in tone with long-term appointments. When Jurgensen was given the full-time job the idea was to promote someone from within the system, as he was a bowling coach to begin with, and show how a lower-profile coach can grow into the main role. It was also important to break the thinking that only those with a batting background can be head coach in Bangladesh.
But some within the BCB have felt, particularly after the World T20 debacle, that long-term appointments are not the best way forward.
"Shane Jurgensen joined as bowling coach, but we only considered him to be head coach in 2012. We had initially wanted him until World T20, but we were convinced that he should get a longer term [deal] until the 2015 World Cup. However, we are not sure if he has delivered as a coach," said a BCB official.
"I don't see the difference between short and long-term in appointing captain or coach. Yes, it ensures job security if we make it long-term but we have to ask the question: what is he giving us? I don't think we are getting the right service."
Between becoming the interim coach until the start of the Sri Lanka series in January this year, Jurgensen was in charge of a Test win against Zimbabwe, three drawn games and four losses. In T20s, Bangladesh had won one out of five T20s while in ODIs, their strongest suit, they had won eight out of 14 games.
In 2014, however, Bangladesh have lost all seven ODIs and won just two out of nine T20s. This flip in form has made the BCB uncomfortable and is leaving some to consider more changes. Whether it translates to an easier environment for the new coach or for Jurgensen, should he stay in the job, remains to be seen.
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84Feeds: Mohammad Isam
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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