B’desh players get parliamentary ticking off

DHAKA: Bangladeshi cricket players received a stern telling off from the South Asian nation's lawmakers for lacking discipline and failing to dine together while on tour abroad.

Officials from the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) were summoned before the Ministry of Youth and Sports' parliamentary committee on Sunday and ordered to keep close tabs on players after reports surfaced of unruly behaviour.

Committee chair Zahid Ahsan Russell told AFP that "indiscipline" ahead of a crucial World Twenty20 match against Ireland last month was the reason for the team's early exit from the tournament.

"I was in England at that time and saw for myself that the Bangladeshi team lacked discipline. The night before the Ireland match, they did not even take dinner together. Each member dined alone," he said.

"A visiting team should take dinner together ahead of any match because it gives you an opportunity to sharpen your focus and discuss strategy."

Bangladesh needed a victory against Ireland in their second match at Nottingham on June 8 but they lost by six wickets.

Russell said the team were unusually relaxed, which affected their game the next day.

"The BCB officials have told they would now strictly enforce discipline in the team and players would dine together when they are in a tour abroad," he said.

Mohammad Ashraful who led the Bangladesh team in the tournament was sacked for the poor performance. He was also harangued by protesting fans when he returned home from England.

Bangladesh, now being led by fast bowler Mashrafe Mortaza, have since had better luck on the pitch and last week tasted a first Test victory on foreign soil when they beat a weakened West Indies side at St Lucia.