Former England batsman Mal Loye has been appointed head coach of the BCB's High Performance (HP) for two years. The first programme for 22 players will begin in June and will run till the end of September of this year.
Loye, who played seven ODIs for England in 2007, ended his first-class career in 2011. Having previously coached at the Wellingborough School in Northamptonshire, Loye is likely to arrive in Bangladesh in the next few days. He will work under the National Cricket Academy's new director of coaching Paul Terry, who was appointed earlier this month by the BCB.
The HP chief Mahbubul Anam, also a BCB vice-president, made the announcement during the programme's launch in Mirpur on Monday. He also announced the 22-member High Performance squad, which includes four international players Sabbir Rahman, Mohammad Mithun, Jubair Hossain and Mustafizur Rahman.
The HP was in function between 2003 and 2007 but faded away in the subsequent years due to change of leadership in the BCB. The programme has been touted to be a bridge between the national team and emerging cricketers. The main aim is to ensure the best prepared players in international cricket, which Stuart Karpinnen, the HP's general manager, said was a realistic goal.
Mahbubul said that the board will set aside US$1 million as operational budget for the HP programme and also informed that there will be a number of consultants from home and abroad who will work at the HP in the near future. He added that the HP will coordinate constantly with the national team's coaching staff.
"The HP committee will include the cricket operations committee chairman and game development committee chairman. The programme will go hand in hand with the national team because it will be important for players falling back in the national team and for players who are looking to graduate into the national team," Mahbubul said.
He assured that the uncertain nature of Bangladesh's domestic cricket will not affect the HP's main function. "This is unfortunate that we have an unfixed domestic structure. We definitely need to fix it, and that is one of the top priorities of the board, to have a definitive schedule of tournaments so that we can plan everything better.
"The HP programme runs in the off-season. It starts from June and ends in September. During these four months, the HP runs uninterrupted," he said.
They have also planned to keep the specialisation programmes flexible in tune with the domestic competitions, he said. "The elite programme for the fast bowlers, which has to run beyond the programme for eight months, is flexible and will be slotted in when there is no domestic cricket.
"Knowing that the domestic calendar shifts, the coaches have to discuss with Paul to do short programmes. Eight weeks won't be at a stretch, so that we utilise those periods when there is no cricket in the cricket season. We have decided to remain flexible taking into account of unscheduled tournaments," he said.
Karpinnen said they hoped that a majority of national players would have worked with the HP programme in 6-12 months while within two years, the programme is likely to prepare at least two cricketers vying for positions in the national team.
Apart from the programme for the 22 players in the main HP programme, there will be six other specialist programmes, called elite programmes, for incumbent national players of the three formats and elite programmes for fast bowling, batting, spin bowling, fielding and wicketkeeping. These camps will run throughout the year for a few weeks at a time.
Sarwar Imran (fast bowling), Zafrul Ehsan (batting), Wahidul Gani (spin bowling) and Golam Mortuza (wicketkeeping) have been appointed as coaches to work under Terry and Loye. The coaching staff will include Brett Harrop as rehabilitation manager, physiotherapist, strength and condition coordinator and performance analyst.
Terry said that the new head coach Loye will be working directly with the players while Terry himself will coordinate with Loye and the rest of the local coaching staff.
"I will be working closely with him and all the other coaches to set up the programme," Terry said. "Mal's responsibility will be to run that programme. My role will be to assist him and in the planning. I think the local coaches will be the most important here. We need to work closely with them."
High Performance squad: Rony Talukdar, Litton Das, Shadman Islam, Tasamul Haque, Mahmudul Hasan, Sabbir Rahman, Mossadek Hossain, Mohammad Mithun, Taibur Rahman, Jubair Hossain, Saqlain Sajib, Nihaduzzaman, Nasum Ahmed, Mustafizur Rahman, Abu Jayed Chowdhury, Subashis Roy, Mehedi Hasan, Kamrul Islam Rabbi, Dewan Sabbir, Nurul Hasan, Jabid Hossain, Irfan Sukkur.