While it may be true that Mushfiqur Rahim is a defensive captain, his discipline as a player has never been in question. From that standpoint, when the owner of his Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) franchise says that he has disciplinary issues, it was something that not only deeply affected Mushfiqur but sent shock waves through the country’s cricketing circles.
We also know that Mushfiqur is very emotional and the Test skipper, while addressing a press conference yesterday, had an emotional breakdown. And he has every right to be upset because apart from being disciplined and very meticulous, he is also very cooperative and caring towards teammates.
“We are absolutely not interested [in Mushfiqur] because there were some issues with his discipline last year and he also made some inappropriate comments about the franchise.
The same thing happened when he was at Sylhet [Super Stars] as well and it’s something we don’t expect from him,” Barisal Bulls owner Abdul Awal said in an interview with a private TV channel.
“All the players want a captain who will sit with them and discuss the game plan and give them encouragement. He is a good player, but the fact is that he is not a good captain, something that is very necessary in T20 cricket,” he continued.
Awal did not elaborate on the disciplinary issues, something he should have done because it belies what we know about Mushfiqur. Apart from that, engaging or communicating with players has never been an issue for the Test skipper when it comes to the national team.
“I have been in the national team for the past 12 years and if I am honest then these questions have never been raised about me. Maybe they can say that I am not a good player, but to say things like I not disciplined and don’t take responsibility or that I can’t motivate players or talk in team meetings; it really hurt me,” Mushfiqur said at a press conference yesterday.
“Today this has happened to me, but it can happen to anyone. I think a player can expect more respect than that. Someone who has been serving the country for so long, can expect…,” said a choked-up Mushfiqur, unable to finish the sentence.
He also appealed to the BPL Governing Council for a healthy resolution that would help deter such incidents in the future. BPL governing council member secretary IH Mallick also assured that they would take disciplinary action because the comments Awal had made were not appropriate.
“The BPL council has a code of conduct and whoever the owner is has to maintain that. I have already spoken to the franchisee owner and we have called him. We will serve him a show-cause and if we don’t get a proper response then we will take action against the franchisee. It can be financial penalty or something else,” said Mallick.
“We have punished four franchises before for this sort of thing, so it’s nothing new. I can’t even assure you that it won’t happen again. The issue is whether we are dealing with the issues properly or not.”
Interestingly, Awal is not just a franchisee owner but a board director and chairman of the women’s wing. Awal is one of a number of board directors who also has franchise ownership. There is always a danger of conflict of interest and in the past the board has not taken enough action against board members for their transgressions.
This conflict of interest — being a board director and a franchisee owner or whatever it is– seems to create the environment that the people holding these positions have the license to do as they please. This is the reason why the BPL has never worked out efficiently and why the cricketers are being hurt.
Mallick appeared adamant that they would deal with the issue properly. But that remains to be seen.