The fans at home and the Bangladeshi journalists present there were taken aback and could not find a clue to Mushfiqur's hasty resignation. The next day, emotional followers alongside the country's cricket pundits demanded that Mushfiqur take back his decision. Some praised Mushfiqur's decision and wished that our politicians did the same. To speak the truth, politics and cricket aren't the same - a fact our pundits always fail to understand.
As usual, people started to smell a rift within the team and their easy target had been some of our star performers. Like a traditional mean minded creature they cropped up stories which were hard to digest.
The BCB chief immediately consulted with Mushfiqur regarding the matter. In a choking voice, Mushfiqur told him about his incapability to lead his men as there had been a lack in teamwork. Nazmul Hassan was critical and vowed to dig deeper on the issue. Mushfiqur's statement added more fuel to the controversy seekers and stories begun to flourish on the basis of just guesses.
But Mushfiqur changed his decision after the final Twenty20 against Zimbabwe which the Tigers won comprehensively to level the series. In the twinkle of an eye, Mushfiqur changed his stance from stepping back as captain and decided to rethink his decision which again left everyone clueless.
"After resigning I have realized that I should have discussed the matter with the BCB, who have made me the captain. It was my mistake. People from the BCB have told me that we will hold discussions when I am back. I have let them know my decision, now it's for them to decide," he told journalists.
"It is not about teamwork. I have taken the decision emotionally. It was a wrong decision on my part. No player should back out in such a time. I should have been encouraging everyone, but I ended up doing just the opposite. I have now realized my mistake. Losing to them didn't go down well with me. My team-mates have backed me, and I hope this is how it remains in the future."
Is representing your country at the highest level a joke? Is there any place for those actions which tarnish your country's image? Should a player only lead his men when the path is rosy and leave when it's tough? Mushfiqur is now saying that it was not a matter of teamwork then why did he give such statement to the BCB chief. His one emotional remark had suddenly put a question mark on the dedication of some of the players who nevertheless give their 100%.
A captain is the lighthouse of his team. When the chips are down the whole team looks after their captain to lift their dying spirit. A captain must encourage his men rather than stepping back. Defeats are a part of sport and they are the best teachers. Rather than getting emotionally crippled and frustrated it's better to get motivated with new vigor for the future so that the same mistakes don't repeat themselves.
What will Mushfiqur do if his team suffers a whitewash against New Zealand? Will he repeat this same mind-boggling emotional exhibition again? A captain roars amid adversity. He doesn't mew like a cat.
Mushfiqur was like a boy in a toy shop where the boy cries loudly when his father denies him a toy. The boy stops eating food and when his father buys him that toy, he starts eating again! Surely, leading a team is not the job of a school kid but requires a man with astute maturity. After such an act Mushfiqur's maturity and ability in handling the pressure is under a question mark.
Bangladesh cricket time and again has been a laughing stock to the world for various reasons. Either pathetic and suicidal performances or lack stability in the board had tarnished our image many times in the past. For the last couple of years, the Tigers were earning enough respect through solid performances but Mushfiqur's childish attitude has again dented our image. You don't expect that from a leader.
Perhaps Mushfiqur will lead the team in the future as he's the obvious choice at present. But should Nazmul Hassan not take any actions regarding Mushfiqur's whimsical attitude?
No doubt, Mushfiqur has led Bangladesh extremely well for the last year. Though not a shrewd captain, his ability to maintain the team's unity deserves praise. For the last year, Bangladesh cricket has tasted a great amount of successes under him and for which the expectations have raised.
Is Mushfiqur strong enough to handle the pressure of expectations? His recent paints a shoddy picture. A cricket team must be led by a man and not a kid. The BCB must think of a man and not a kid.
First Published: May 17, 2013, 1:44 PM IST