The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) has strongly criticised the Bangladesh team for the 355-run loss to Zimbabwe in the first Test in Harare. The board also asked injured players to return home, the first public airing of frustration regarding fitness issues that have dogged the players since this season's Bangladesh Premier League.
"The batting performance in Harare had no similarity with that in Sri Lanka," said Jalal Yunus, the BCB's media committee chairman. "We are disappointed with this poor showing by the batsmen. The senior players haven't showed enough responsibility."
"I would urge the players who are not fully fit to return to Dhaka and get themselves into 100% fitness."
Bangladesh were bowled out for less than 150 in both innings, and while some viewed the first innings as a one-off, their second-innings score of 147 confirmed their struggle against the Zimbabwe seamers. "It takes time for performance to come down to such levels," Yunus said. "They had a bad start, which can happen sometimes but there is no excuse to how they have batted in the second innings."
The BCB was also "concerned" about the umpiring during the first Test, but said it couldn't bring back the concept of universal DRS on its own. "We were alarmed by a few decisions in this Test match, and we have been concerned by the umpiring since the tour of Sri Lanka," Yunus said. "It has happened a few times that whenever our bowlers have taken a wicket, the umpire has checked for a no-ball. But it didn't happen when our batsmen got out."
He also said the timing of the Zimbabwe tour, the venue for the Tests, as well as the make-up of the tour could have been modified, but the decisions ultimately lay with the home board.
Zimbabwe were supposed to host Bangladesh last year but had postponed the tour until April this year due to ground maintenance issues in Bulawayo. They also announced the Test series would be held after the limited-overs matches, but later changed the schedule.
"We have tried to negotiate with them but ultimately the home board decides these facilities," Yunus said. "But these cannot be excuses. The team has been doing quite well before this Test match so it is hard to understand how they have suddenly played so poorly."