|Photos||Video & Audio||Blogs||Statistics||Archive||Shop||Mobile|
September 27, 2005
Habibul Bashar, the Bangladesh captain, has said the recently concluded series against Sri Lanka was the worst tour he has undertaken since assuming the captaincy.
Bashar, whose side were swept aside in both the ODI and Test series, told reporters on arrival in Bangladesh, "It is very much part of our life. But I believe both the players and the management should take equal responsibility for the team's bad performance. I must say it was the worst tour since I took over captaincy."
As well as the losses, Bangladesh suffered from injury and disciplinary problems through the series. Mashrafe Mortaza and Taipash Baisya both returned home before the Tests began with injury. Mohammad Rafique, the veteran left-arm spinner meanwhile, was involved in a training ground spat with Dav Whatmore, the coach over allegations that his injury hadn't been tended to properly.
Bashar was, however, adamant that a lack of international fixtures over the next five months might be exactly the tonic his side needs. "We should devote our entire efforts to finding out how we can rectify our mistakes and I think the domestic competitions will be an ideal platform to correct those flaws.
"It is nice that there are no international fixtures for the next five months. We will able to play in domestic matches uninterrupted. We have also discussed our domestic matches in a lengthy team meeting. We set individual targets for players in the local matches and everybody now realises that there is no alternative to a competitive domestic structure to survive at the highest level."
But Bashar downplayed suggestions that his team were struggling to overcome basic technical deficiencies in their games, pointing instead to problems with attitude. "I think mental attitude was the main reason behind the disaster. I don't understand why a team showed such an uninspiring performance after a great victory in England."
Bashar, the only batsmen along with Shahriar Nafees to score a fifty in the Test series for Bangladesh, did, however, take some encouragement from the performances of fast bowlers, Shahadat Hossain and Syed Rasel.
The pair had reduced Sri Lanka to 48 for 4 on the first morning of the second Test and although they suffered at the hands of Thilan Samaraweera and Tillakaratne Dilshan later, they ended with four wickets apiece.
Bashar said of the two, "To be honest we returned home without any achievement but it will be silly if I undermine the effort of the two young bowlers who played their heart out in the absence of the frontline pacers."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
A look at some of cricket's most memorable strokes - and their makers