The way Nafees, a former national cricketer and a Test centurion, was excluded at the eleventh hour raises questions regarding the professionalism of the board and the respect reserved for former players
The way Nafees Iqbal was abruptly relieved of his duties as the national team’s operations manager for the upcoming Cricket World Cup raised questions among fans and pundits in the Bangladesh cricket arena.
Nafees signed the team sheet in the third and final One Day International between Bangladesh and New Zealand in Mirpur Tuesday as the side’s operations manager.
But during the first innings, when Bangladesh were batting, he left the team, handed over his responsibility and returned home.
It was learned that Nafees was excluded from the Bangladesh team contingent at the very last moment and it was done on the recommendation of national team captain Shakib al Hasan.
Nafees was also excluded from the squad just before the Twenty20 World Cup in Australia last year.
Shakib was the skipper of the team that time too and it was rumored the reason was the same.
But this time around, Nafees was all set to travel with the team to India for the mega 50-over event as all preparations were done.
But only 24 hours prior to the Bangladesh side departing for Guwahati and starting their World Cup mission, Nafees was informed that he would no longer be part of the team.
As things happened, he is well within his rights to feel disrespected having made to leave the team in such fashion.
Meanwhile, according to a source from Bangladesh Cricket Board, he has not resigned from the post, nor has the board fired him.
It’s just that he was excluded from the national team for the World Cup only.
It’s an open secret in Bangladesh cricket that the two superstars – Shakib and Tamim Iqbal – are not on good terms.
The tension between Tamim and Shakib was revealed a few months ago by BCB boss Nazmul Hasan to the media.
It has apparently been ongoing for the last few years.
Perhaps current ODI captain Shakib is not comfortable with Nafees as the national team’s operations manager in a World Cup as Nafees is the elder brother of Tamim.
BCB announced the 15-man World Cup squad Tuesday night and shockingly, experienced opener Tamim was left out due to fitness concern.
Tamim later revealed in a facebook video on his profile Wednesday evening that he opted out as an influential BCB official informed him to sit out the first game against Afghanistan in Dharamshala on October 7, or bat in the lower-middle order if selected.
Tamim felt that was unfair and eventually suggested that he be dropped from the squad if the team management had doubts on him as an opener.
Nafees had been working as the national team’s logistics manager after the 2021 T20 World Cup and was part of the team in several home and away series.
Nafees, who played 11 Test matches and 16 ODIs for the Tigers in the early 2000s, is reportedly working well in his position.
National team players were comfortable with him as he has plenty of experience in international cricket as player and also good knowhow in management in recent years in franchise cricket.
Nafees famously scored a Test century against Zimbabwe back in 2005 and his marathon innings in the second five-dayer in Dhaka helped Bangladesh create history – winning a Test series for the first time.
Most of the board members and even head coach Chandika Hathurusingha was happy with his work with the national team.
The way Nafees, a former national cricketer and a Test centurion, was excluded at the eleventh hour raises questions regarding the professionalism of the board and the respect reserved for former players.
Source: Dhaka Tribune.