Since Mushfiqur Rahim surprised everyone by resigning as Bangladesh captain two days ago, the Bangladesh team has been kept away from talking about it to the media. The management finally let allrounder Ziaur Rahman take questions ahead of the first Twenty20 in Bulawayo.
A relative newcomer in the squad, Ziaur hardly gave away anything on the Mushfiqur issue, but said the captain became emotional after the defeat in the one-day series. "After Wednesday, we have sat and talked about it [the resignation] together, and it hasn't affected us," Ziaur said. "We had a meeting today as well, where the captain talked to us about the conditions we are going to face. He [Mushfiqur] is doing well, and I just feel he is an emotional guy. He felt bad after the defeat, that's why he reacted that way.
"It is a good wicket, but there was help for the bowlers in the morning. But since the Twenty20s are starting in the afternoon, there won't be too many issues for the batsmen, because it flattens out at that time. That's what we discussed with the captain today."
The atmosphere around the Bangladesh team has been unusually quiet according to reports from Bulawayo. It caught everyone's eye because this team is known to be quite accommodating with the media. The last time such a shutdown took place was after the team was bowled out for 58 against West Indies in the 2011 World Cup, following which Shakib Al Hasan criticised former players in a newspaper column.
Newspaper reports in Bangladesh have claimed that several of Mushfiqur's team-mates, who got wind of his impending announcement moments after Wednesday's match, rushed to him in the dressing room. They urged him to think about it after returning home, but he was adamant. According to one report, Mushfiqur was even asked to skip the press conference but he went a few minutes after Mahmudullah to tell the media.
BCB has vowed to convince Mushfiqur to stay, and they have almost five months to do so. The two Twenty20s on Saturday and Sunday are Bangladesh's last international matches till October when they take on New Zealand at home.