Bangladesh’s new choice chief Gazi Ashraf Hossain should do extra than simply choose groups

Not many chief selectors’ reigns are particularly notable. Within the trendy period, there has usually been an everyday turnover, virtually in all places. Some have been prolonged: David Graveney was round for 11 years in England; additional again, Lawrie Sawle helped remodel Australian cricket as nationwide selector from 1982 to 1995. Final week got here the top of one other – much less radical – lengthy stint, that of Minhajul Abedin, who was Bangladesh’s chief selector for eight years.

The BCB has appointed Gazi Ashraf Hossain as Minhajul’s successor, beginning March 1. The information was welcomed in Bangladesh, primarily due to the years of speak about Minhajul being a weak selector with little affect – BCB president Nazmul Hassan usually talked to the media as an alternative of Minhajul about choice issues.

Ashraf has the popularity of being an ready administrator, and is thought to have probably the greatest cricket brains in Bangladesh. Ashraf would be the first BCB chief selector with the stature of a board director. That is spectacular. Firstly, simply that he may organize such a deal. Secondly, extra importantly, as a result of it can permit him the authority a chief selector wants within the BCB, the place there may be loads of interference in choice issues by the board’s directors.

Ashraf led Bangladesh of their first seven ODIs, from 1986 to 1990, additionally your entire size of his worldwide profession, the place his prime rating was a rearguard 18 towards Merv Hughes & Co.

“It was actually shocking for me. I hadn’t heard his identify as a candidate. Many different names had been floating round. I’m the [BCB’s] vice-chairman of cricket operations, nonetheless I did not know something. That is what stunned me essentially the most”

Khaled Mahmud on Gazi Ashraf Hossain’s appointment

Bangladesh’s pre-Full Member days are actually so faraway from the typical Bangladesh followers’ consciousness that the likes of Ashraf and Minhajul are typically judged solely by their poor numbers – Minhajul averaged 18.87 with the bat and 39.30 with the ball in 27 ODIs between 1986 and 1999. However each Ashraf and Minhajul had been home giants within the Nineteen Eighties and Nineties, respectively.

Ashraf’s peak was from the mid-Nineteen Eighties to the early Nineties. After main Abahani Restricted to 6 Dhaka Premier League titles throughout his time, Ashraf gained a popularity of being an astute strategist and is thought to be one of many architects of Bangladesh’s 1997 ICC Trophy title win in his function as supervisor. It’s the triumph that began Bangladesh’s ascent in the direction of Take a look at standing.

As a board director, Ashraf held numerous roles within the BCB, together with being the primary BPL governing council chairman. After Khaled Mahmud defeated him within the 2013 BCB administrators’ elections, Ashraf turned a distinguished face in TV discuss reveals and wrote a newspaper column. However not like many former Bangladesh cricketers, he supplied well-informed views and was normally a voice of motive.

Former cricketers, nevertheless, not often get roles within the BCB. Even in choice. Often, one of many males within the chief’s panel is promoted.

There have been exceptions. In 2007, Rafiqul Alam was a chief selector appointed from outdoors the board bosses’ shut circle. However Faruque Ahmed was first made chief selector in 2003 after he had served below Aliul Islam’s choice panel; Akram Khan was made chief in 2011 after serving in Rafiqul’s panel; Faruque returned to the highest function in 2013 after his 2003-07 tenure; when Faruque resigned in 2016 after clashing with BCB president Nazmul Hassan and head coach Chandika Hathurusingha, Minhajul, who was a part of Faruque’s staff, was given the highest job.

With Ashraf, there may be an argument to be made about his lack of expertise as a selector. Faruque, Akram and Minhajul had expertise as selectors earlier than they received the chief’s job. Ashraf would not.

That the appointment has polarised the BCB turned clear lower than 24 hours after it was made formal – BCB director Khaled Mahmud, who had defeated Ashraf within the 2013 elections, stated that he was stunned. He felt that former captain Habibul Bashar “deserved” the job.

“It was actually shocking for me. I hadn’t heard his identify as a candidate,” Mahmud, additionally the coach of BPL staff Durdanto Dhaka, stated at a press meet in Chattogram on February 13. “Many different names had been floating round. I’m the [BCB’s] vice-chairman of cricket operations, nonetheless I did not know something. That is what stunned me essentially the most.

“I really feel that [Bashar] undoubtedly deserved it. He was a profitable captain of the Bangladesh staff, he was a profitable cricketer, and he additionally labored with the staff for a few years. I had hoped that he can be made chief selector if [Minhajul] is changed.”

Mahmud may need a degree, however he wasn’t current on the board assembly. He was with the Dhaka franchise and the BCB administrators current on the assembly reportedly agreed on Ashraf’s appointment unanimously after the BCB chief had proposed his identify.

There have been no such questions on Hannan Sarkar, the opposite selector appointed alongside Ashraf. Hannan was the BCB’s age-group selector since 2015. It has been probably the greatest intervals for the age-group sides within the nation, culminating within the 2020 males’s Beneath-19 World Cup triumph. Hannan’s development to the senior choice committee is smart in Bangladesh’s context, since age-group cricket produces virtually all of Bangladesh’s future senior cricketers.

Hannan’s promotion appears ultimate. However the BCB’s general construction is not actually supportive of such a pathway. Selectors have usually been picked based mostly on their standing as cricketers. Faruque, Akram and Minhajul, and now Ashraf, are all ex-captains, whereas Rafiqul was a well-established senior cricketer. Those that toil for years within the age-group degree and are thought of good at scouting or expertise recognizing do not get the BCB’s call-up for choice. Like former quick bowler Hasibul Hossain Shanto, who is thought within the circuit as an environment friendly selector however has been saved in age-group cricket. Nazmul Abedeen Fahim, one of many senior-most coaches who is thought for his depth of data in age-group and senior cricket, was reportedly a part of the discussions this time as a selector, however was handed over.

After which there may be the BCB’s general tradition about staff choice. Faruque resigned in 2016 after the BCB put the top coach, staff supervisor, and cricket operations chairman in a “choice panel” to approve the selectors’ picks. Faruque’s exit was seen as an enormous blow to the impartial choice system. Minhajul, it’s understood, labored with the system of interference in place, with Hassan taking over the media’s questions and providing his opinions on choice issues, and the understanding was that the selectors wouldn’t be taking the ultimate name.

Probably the most excessive instance of this got here in 2018. Imrul Kayes and Soumya Sarkar had been flown in to Dubai for the Asia Cup. It was reported on the time that everybody within the staff administration, together with the captain and the coach, knew what was occurring. The BCB’s prime brass had been absolutely conscious, too, and organized for the 2 gamers to fly in. Minhajul had no thought.

Understandably, one of many early questions in Ashraf’s first press convention was about whether or not he can be allowed to work independently. Ashraf stated that he wished to observe “world requirements” when it got here to taking options from coach Hathurusingha, but when current historical past is any indication, it might be an uphill battle. Ashraf won’t solely have to vary the choice panel’s picture, but in addition put in place the appropriate strategies of choice.

The brand new choice committee formally begins work on March 1. They are going to observe Bangladesh enjoying towards Sri Lanka via the month. The white-ball squad is already out. The Minhajul Minhajul-led panel can be remembered for being weak, taking a backseat to the board and the staff administration. Ashraf’s stature as a board-director equal may assist him, however his activity is sophisticated, and it isn’t nearly selecting the right staff for Bangladesh.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo’s Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84

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