No. 1 priority is to play for country: Hathurusingha

Head coach Chandika Hathurusingha believes the motivation to play for the country should be higher than anything else.

Test captain Shakib Al Hasan and vice-captain Liton Das sought NOC to play Indian Premier League (IPL) for full season. Since the Ireland Test and Ireland tour for limited over series coincides the IPL season, the BCB didn’t allow them NOC for full season, instead they got NOC for 24 days.

But another player Mustafizur Rahman who is not in the red-ball contract could play the IPL from the beginning.

“I think the board decision is to play for your country first. And board has given them the same message before they ask for NOC or before they put their name into the auctions,” Hathurusingha said about Liton and Shakib.

While Shakib has been the regular face in IPL, it will be the first time for Liton Das in the world’s most attractive and valuable cricket tournament.

“They can improve their scale playing for IPL for sure. No doubt about it because that's very top, high class tournament. But their number one priority is to play for your country.”

One of the reasons to appoint Hathurusingha as coach for Bangladesh for the second time is that he is not involved with any IPL team like the other coaches around the world.

Hathurusingha also opened up on Afif Hossain who was axed from the squad following his subpar performance after having featured for a record 61 matches at stretch for Bangladesh.

The head coach made a scathing comment on the young guy saying that Afif was not dropped because of his face but for his performance.

He said the out-of-favour all-rounder will now have to prove his worth to make a comeback in the side.

"Obviously, it [reason to drop Afif] is not because of his face but, of course, performance," Hathurusinghasaid.

"Anyone who gets dropped is because of the performance, but at times we drop some players for tactical reasons if we want to do anything different or want to have a look at the player," he added.

Hathurusingha informed he had spoken to Afif personally and gave him the necessary suggestions to make him available in the team again.

"He (Afif) is out of the team now and he will have to do what he requires at the moment: which is to score runs. I have spoken with him regarding some of the areas of improvements and if he is able to do so and if there is a vacant place in the team, he will get the opportunity like others," Hathurusingha said.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha