WC 2003 - Bangladesh squad to face inquiry for shameful show

Published: Monday, March 3, 2003, 21:24 [IST]
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Dhaka: The Bangladesh cricket team will face a formal inquiry after its dismal performance at the World Cup, which the media said brought "shame" on the country, reports said on Monday."A committee with a retired bureaucrat and Army officer, who have good cricket knowledge will be set up and they will talk with everyone from the coach, team members and even myself," Ali Asghar Loby, president of the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB), told the Bengali-language 'Prothom Alo' daily.Loby, whose resignation was demanded during a demonstration in Dhaka on Sunday, indicated the team's Pakistani coach Mohsin Kamal and other officials would be fired."We don't need them as we want someone who can give results ...

We gave them everything they asked for, but got nothing in return," he said.Loby said Bangladesh had to work to uphold its Test status, which was given in 2000. Bangladesh has lost 15 of its 16 Tests so far and the only draw was against Zimbabwe in 2002 thanks to rain.In the World Cup, the team had hoped for a win over Kenya and minnows Canada, but will return to Dhaka on Wednesday without winning a match.Kenya beat Bangladesh by 32 runs, while Canada it them with a 60-run victory. It could have been six zeros for Bangladesh, but rain saved it in the match against the West Indies.

"What I have seen very closely is the lack of commitment which is responsible for the performance of our team, maybe there are other reasons too," Loby said."We advised them in one way and they played differently on the field."Bangladesh's captain Khaled Mashud made no attempt to find a scapegoat for his team's performance."We have failed and there is no excuse for that," he told reporters in Johannesburg.Cricket fans and commentators did not hide their anger, calling their performance "a shame for the country"."Bangladesh will remember this World Cup for all the wrong reasons," said the 'Daily Star' newspaper.

In the last World Cup, Bangladesh beat Canada, Kenya and scored an upset victory over Pakistan.Some commentators blamed the selection of too many young players with little experience, but skipper Mashud disagreed."You cannot blame the younger members of the team. The experienced players ... (including) myself also failed," he said.He said the situation could get worse if the BCB failed to take immediate steps to prepare sporting wickets at home and provided outdoor training facilities all year round."We need true wickets and good grounds to practice on," he said.

The 'Daily Star' said it was time BCB got pitch specialists from abroad to help train local groundsman.Mashud, 26, who earlier announced he would retire from international cricket after the World Cup, said he had not changed his mind, but would take a final decision after talking with the Board.

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