BCB president Nazmul Hassan has said the decision to include Bangladesh team manager Khaled Mahmud in the selection committee was a result of lack of communication between the players and coach Chandika Hathurusingha. In a heated press conference in Mirpur on Wednesday, Hassan said he was tired of explaining why he changed the selection structure from a three-member to a six-member committee.
Explaining the reason behind the manager's inclusion, Hassan mentioned an incident during the World T20, when he attended a team meeting and found the Bangladesh players not challenging Hathurusingha. He said the players often used Mahmud as their envoy to push for suggestions regarding team selection but they were not approaching Hathurusingha directly.
Hassan said Mahmud, after informing him of these suggestions, would relay the message to Hathurusingha. To relieve himself of getting too involved in selection matters, Hassan has included Mahmud in the selection committee, where he will act as the captains' representative.
"I have to explain this out of disappointment," Hassan said. "You know that I am very much involved with the players. During the World Cup and the World T20, I attended the team meetings. I saw there that the coach gives a strategic plan for every aspect of the match, in a lot of detail.
"Unfortunately, I saw that our players didn't challenge the coach but when I got out of their meeting room, couple of the players walked out with me. They told me that there has to be some changes made, mainly about selection. I asked them, 'Why didn't you tell him in the meeting?' But they don't get into any argument with the coach, whether it is the captain or the other players.
"When I don't attend these meetings, they communicate via the manager Sujon [Mahmud], who conveys it to me and I have to tell the coach. I don't want to be involved in these things. So I thought that I should have lesser involvement in these matters. We can't run things in this way so this is why I have included the manager in the selection committee. The only person who could have a problem with the manager in this committee is the captain. But he is fine with it, so why does the selector have a problem with it?"
It is extremely rare for a BCB president to reveal such details from within the Bangladesh dressing room. Hathurusingha has been hailed as instrumental to the team's successes in 2015, with many players suggesting he has given them freedom to express themselves in every match situation.
While Hathurusingha has had public fallings-out with the chief selector Faruque Ahmed and former cricket operations chairman Naimur Rahman, he has never publicly criticised any Bangladesh player. Nor has any player spoken of communication difficulties with Hathurusingha.
When contacted, a number of Bangladesh players refused to comment on the board president taking about the team's private matters. Hassan admitted he wasn't supposed to reveal such information in a press conference but he succumbed to the continuous questioning about Mahmud's inclusion in the revamped selection committee.
"Is it a good thing that I just said that our captains and players are scared of the coach?" Hassan said. "This news will now spread around the world but you won't leave me alone until I say all these things."