As was widely expected, Shakib Al Hasan will lead Bangladesh into this year’s World Cup after the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB), on Friday, named the world’s number all-rounder as captain and dashing opener Tamim Iqbal as his deputy for the next one year. After Mashrafe Bin Mortaza’s latest knee injury there was no other choice for the game’s governing body but to declare Shakib as the Tigers’ skipper. However, the appointment of Tamim as vice-captain came as a surprise to many with wicketkeeper batsman Mushfiqur Rahim long mooted as the most likely candidate. It was still not an easy decision for the BCB president AHM Mustafa Kamal to select Shakib as captain, as the number one all-rounder was reportedly not ready to take charge only for the World Cup, instead insisting on long-term duty when he met with the BCB president in the morning.
The BCB boss finally agreed on a one-year tenure after a meeting with the high-ups including the selectors at his Mirpur office and the decision this time made Shakib happy. The world’s best all-rounder had previously expressed his disappointment on his short-term, stop-gap role. “Yes, this time I am happy. I always believe in a long-term policy. Now I can plan something for the team,” said Shakib soon after the BCB made the official announcement on the eve of the New Year. “Now my first job will be to work towards a good team for the World Cup. I firmly believe that the captain has to have a strong opinion on team selection. Definitely I will be part of the team selection this time,” he added.
The world’s number one all-rounder also said that he was looking forward to the 2011 World Cup where Bangladesh is one of the co-hosts along with India and Sri Lanka. “Definitely my first target is to play good cricket in the World Cup and do something as a co-host. I have to take all the responsibility for good or bad result in this big event. I am however excited to lead the team in the World Cup,” said Shakib. The Bangladesh captain also believes that there will be a good partnership with Tamim. “We have a very good relationship and hope we can work together to inspire the team for good results in the coming days,” Shakib hoped.
Tamim was however quite surprised by the decision but he was delighted to do his duty.
“I’m surprised because I never thought about it. I will try my best to do my duty as the vice-captain,” said the left-hander, who just went through a very successful year with the bat. BCB’s media committee chairman Jalal Yunus explained the reason behind the board’s decision of declaring the captain and vice-captain for one year.
“We took the decision because we thought that it will help our cricket and team performance. Shakib successfully led the team in the last couple of series and we have faith on him that’s why we went for a long-term policy,” explained Yunus.
“What we believe is that this decision will also help Shakib to become a good leader because he will get enough time to think about his captaincy. On the other hand we picked up Tamim as vice-captain because he is a performer and has a good future and we want to give him an opportunity so that he can prepare himself as a leader,” he added.