Gloomy air at the team hotel in Kolkata even as senior BCB officials arrive to make inquiries about where things went wrong and how they can be changed.
Pujara: The Netherlands is “unified”, Bangladesh is not
Niall O’Brien and Cheteshwar Pujara explain Bangladesh’s loss to the Netherlands
The fallout from Bangladesh’s 87-run defeat to Netherlands was always going to be huge for everyone involved.
Bangladesh entered the World Cup finals hoping to reach the semi-finals, but regardless of the math, they were eliminated from the competition with three matches remaining in the league stage. An hour after the loss to the Netherlands, the players waited in line outside Eden Gardens to board the team bus. They stood still in the crowd of onlookers, most of them looking down.
The next day, the calm at the team hotel was broken when BCB president Nazmul Hasan arrived with his managers around midday. It should be noted that involvement of senior board officials in team affairs in such situations is common in Bangladesh.
Hassan continued to hold one-on-one meetings with several players, including captain Shakib Al Hassan, to ask about the results and how the board could help. Afterward, Hassan said everyone was confused about the loss in shots, but they couldn’t decide what had gone wrong.
“Yesterday’s result was not possible,” Hassan said. “I spoke to a number of players individually today, to ask them what they are missing, and if we can do anything for them. I spoke to Shakib and Leyton [Das] And [Mehidy Hasan] Miraz solo and Mushfiqur [Mushfiqur Rahim] And [Mahmudullah] Riyadh together. I asked them to speak frankly. They all said that not running was the problem. They don’t know why this happens. If your top five don’t score goals, you’re not going to do well.
“They told me they are all united but amazed at their level. They said they are also disappointed by hurting their very passionate fans. They are the superstars of our country. They have built a long career. They don’t run, which is not acceptable for them either. There will be criticism of players, coaches and the board. Personally, I think they can play better cricket.”
“There is not much to do or say during the World Cup. We cannot make a big change in a tournament like this. We have to make sure that the players go into the next three matches with courage.”Organize Hassan
Hasan said that for now the team should focus on mental preparation for the remaining matches, starting with the Pakistan match on October 31 in Kolkata as well.
“After talking to them, I thought they were mentally deteriorating,” he said. “There’s not much to do or say during the World Cup. We can’t make a big change in a tournament like this. We have to make sure the players go into the next three matches with courage. They have to believe in themselves, otherwise they will.” They continued to hesitate and be confused about their choice of shot.
“We can’t expect every player to perform well in every match. There are one or two players who won’t score a run. It’s quite normal in cricket. Unfortunately, we have our best four or five players out of form. We’ve never seen this before On this level, it’s completely unexpected.
“We are not playing well. I asked them to fight. They must tell us what they need, suggest what to do. They have given me their word that they will sit together. They look serious to me because they want it. They must be brave.”
Muhammad Essam is ESPNcricinfo’s correspondent in Bangladesh. @isam84
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