Tigers coachless for Zim tri-series

HARARE – Bangladesh will not have a substantive coach in time for the tri-series against Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka which starts on January 15.

Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) president Nazmul Hassan said Richard Halsall, the assistant coach, will be in charge of coaching the side while manager Khaled Mahmud, Shakib Al Hasan and Mashrafe Mortaza will share responsibilities in the absence of a permanent head coach.

Hassan said the BCB is still looking for a permanent coach, after the position became vacant in November when Chandika Hathurusingha resigned.

The BCB has spoken to former Zimbabwe Test captain and England coach Andy Flower, Justin Langer, Tom Moody, Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara as possible candidates for Hathurusingha’s replacement.

All five declined. The BCB then interviewed Richard Pybus and Phil Simmons, who was named as Afghanistan’s coach on December 31.

Hassan said while the coaching staff will remain in charge of their particular areas, Halsall will take an overall role.

Mahmud, meanwhile, will work in a new role.“The existing support staff will remain as it is,” Hassan said.

“We will still be looking for a permanent coach during this time.”

Meanwhile, Mortaza believes that winning the upcoming tri-nation series can lift his side’s spirits after the debacle in South Africa.

“Naturally, this tri-nation is very important and we will make plans to clinch it,” Mashrafee told reporters after a training session at Mirpur’s Academy premises.

“Everyone is upset after the South Africa series — so, doing well can be a turning point for us,” he said.

Mortaza urged the pace bowlers to pull up their socks ahead of the tri-nation series as their below-par performances recently cost the team.

“If you look at our wins during the last three-and-a-half years you will see pacers did well in all those wins while where we lost they did badly in equal proportion,” Mashrafee pointed out.

“We (pacers) are not consistent and it is an area where we need to put our focus. If we can perform well for 10 to 12 matches we can gain momentum and that will be the key,” he further added.

Mortaza added that he is not feeling any extra pressure after being given the role of coach alongside Shakib al Hasan and Khaled Mahmud for the upcoming series.

“I don’t think I will have to do anything extra,” Mortaza said.

“What he (Nazmul) wanted to mean is that seniors will have to take the responsibility and it had always been the case for us.

“If we try to do something else it can create problem so I think the way it was fine with the present (system) is running.”

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