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Domingo clarifies Bangladesh coaching roles

Head coach says well-defined set-up with team director Mahmud and batting consultant Siddons is helping make smooth progress

Mohammad Isam
Mohammad Isam
Russell Domingo talks to the Bangladesh squad before their second Super 12 match, Bangladesh vs England, T20 World Cup, Group 1, Abu Dhabi, October 27, 2021

Bangladesh coach Russell Domingo has been under scrutiny recently  •  Gareth Copley-ICC/Getty Images

The question of how the Bangladesh's backroom staff actually functions has hung in the air for quite a while. Russell Domingo is head coach. But Khaled Mahmud is team director. Then there's the consultant Jamie Siddons, who used to be the head coach. Isn't it all too much? Doesn't it promote confusion? No, said Domingo, mainly because all three were appointed with clearly defined roles.
Domingo is the one in charge. Mahmud, also a BCB director, liaises between him and the board in matters of selection and match-related decisions. Siddons, meanwhile, deals with batting and everything that goes with it.
"The team director is very much a link between me and the board members," Domingo said. "Communicate what's happening. Communicate what we are thinking about selection. I've got enough on my plate to talk to directors about what the line-up is going to be, what the toss is going to do. I don't want to be focusing on that. Great to have Chacha (Mahmud) there. He can feed all those information and take the stress away from me.
"Siddons is an experienced coach who has worked all around the world. He knows the system. He probably knows these players better than I do. He has been here before. It is good to have him on board. He will bring a lot of experience to our coaching staff."
This workaround took a while coming. With the BCB choosing not to renew Ottis Gibson's contract as bowling coach and Ashwell Prince resigning as batting coach, there was a lot of focus on Domingo and his work with the Bangladesh team. It didn't help that Siddons, a former Bangladesh head coach himself, arrived in the country at the start of this month without a specific role assigned to him. Eventually, Siddons was named as the new batting consultant, which ended some of the speculation.
From watching their last couple of practice sessions, it seems Mahmud is handling the fast bowling unit while Siddons, who only linked up with the team on February 22 after recovering from a bout of Covid-19, is looking after the batting unit.
Mahmud was appointed team director last November following Bangladesh's disastrous T20 World Cup performance. A former Bangladesh captain, he was influential in the team's great showing in New Zealand when a number of the players praised him for his motivational speeches ahead of the Mount Maunganui Test.
Putting aside the complication of what sometimes seems like three head coaches running one cricket team, Bangladesh produced a stirring performance against Afghanistan in the first ODI, with Afif Hossain and Mehidy Hasan Miraz taking the team from 45 for 6 all the way to victory.
"When Miraz was walking out to bat, I told (team analyst) Sree (Sreenivasan Chandrasekaran) that they will put on 150. We will still need 15 with Taskin and Shoriful to come" Domingo said. "There's a lot of confidence in Miraz's batting at the moment. He has a Test hundred. He batted well in New Zealand and BPL. I know it sounds hard to believe, I thought we could still do it.
"It was a good wicket. Run-rate was in our hand. I know how good Afif is. I have seen him do it before in T20s. I think he is a fantastic player. He will be one of Bangladesh's best white-ball players. It was really pleasing to see them bat in that particular way yesterday. I was very proud of that partnership."
Domingo however ruled out any batting promotions for Afif. "Whilst we have a keeper and a frontline in the top-order, No. 7 is the perfect position for him. He is really calm in the way he finishes games. He has options at the death. He has a lot of work to do against the new ball. I am in no rush to get him up the order. That position is perfectly suited for his style of play."

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84