Bangladesh news August 18, 2013

Mushfiqur wants to shift focus back to cricket

Mushfiqur Rahim, the Bangladesh captain, wants to put the BPL corruption controversy behind and shift focus back to cricket as Bangladesh begin their final phase of the training before the home series against New Zealand in October.

"It is distracting our attention," Mushfiqur said. "But we are trying to concentrate on New Zealand who did well against England recently, a great achievement. I hope the problems [regarding the BPL controversy] will be sorted out soon. The good environment that we had should return.

"It is always difficult to keep the concentration. Everyone knows it is a mental game. So you have to keep yourself focused to keep your concentration. The 12 players who are here are trying to do that. Those who are outside are also trying to do that."

Mushfiqur stated that many players suffered injuries during the BPL, an example of their commitment towards the tournament. But, he said that team owners and officials had to reciprocate that commitment.

"Apart from the fixing and the payment, the standard of cricket in the BPL was good and a lot of individuals were helped by it. We always want that the BPL should continue. But as we give 100%, the involved parties should also give 100%," he said. "Only then it should be played, otherwise it's a waste of time. A lot of players got injured playing in the BPL. That indicates they are trying to give their 100%."

Naeem Islam and Mashrafe Mortaza were among a group of players who got injured during the BPL, and subsequently missed tours to Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe in April and May respectively.

Mushfiqur had previously suggested stringent punishment for Mohammad Ashraful, after his team-mate had admitted to involvement in the corruption scandal. The young captain reiterated the views, saying that the ICC and BCB should take deal with the accused in the BPL corruption issue.

"I was shocked, but the guilty should be taken to task. There is the ICC and the BCB to do that. From the age-level players to everyone [involved in cricket], this should be a lesson," Mushfiqur said. "If one of your colleagues is engaged with this sort of thing, it will hurt you. At the same time, it is not the first time in cricket. There were big names that were involved in it. But it is painful because it has happened in our country for the first time. But this should finish quickly and a normal atmosphere should return."

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. He tweets here