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Bangla selectors criticised

The "strange and controversial" selection of players to the Bangladesh team has come in for sharp criticism by the local media.

india Updated: Apr 18, 2003 16:10 IST

The "strange and controversial" selection of players to the Bangladesh cricket team has come in for sharp criticism by the local media which said "the mindless chopping and changing" had done little to help the confidence of players.

Wicket keeper Khaled Mashud, who captained the team in the World Cup and was one of the senior most players, was the latest victim of the three-member selection panel as he was unceremoniously dumped from the side for their last match of the triangular cricket series against South Africa yesterday with rookie Mohammad Selim taking his place.

The manner in which Mashud was omitted from the team has stirred a controversy in the cricket fraternity and has raised accusations that the selection panel led by Aliul Islam had started functioning like an "autonomous body".

Selim was asked to check-in at the team hotel at around midnight on the eve of the match and Islam had instructed him to tell the team management that he would replace Mashud for the last match.

"We wanted to give Mashud rest because he has been playing virtually non-stop and also it is about time we gave somebody else a chance behind the wicket," Islam was quoted as saying in the local media.

Both the captain Khaled Mahmud and the coach opposed the idea of dropping Mashud but the chief selector refused to budge from his decision.

"I am the chief selector and I will call the shots, though sometimes my choice may not be appreciated by all", Islam said.

Strangely, the captain and coach do not have much say on selection matters and have to take the field with whatever team given to them by the selectors. As a result, the captain often does not get the team of his choice.

The chief selector also claimed that Mashud's form as wicketkeeper and batsman has not been upto "their desired expectation" in the competition so far.

But the statement appeared to be a contradiction as far as Mashud's record was concerned.

The most capped one-day player of the country had never been dropped since making his debut in the 1995 Asia Cup against India. He missed just one match due to illness in the last 61 one-dayers.

During his eight-year international career, Mashud scored 793 runs in 55 ODI innings. He also led the side in 23 one-dayers from November 2001 until the 2003 World Cup and scored 446 runs as skipper in 21 innings for an average of 26.23.

First Published: Apr 18, 2003 16:10 IST