Bangladesh coach Russell Domingo ‘open-minded’ about split-coaching plan, happy to focus on Tests and ODIs

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Russell Domingo feels a split-coaching plan for Bangladesh’s men’s national side is a “great idea”. This, after S Sriram was appointed technical consultant of the team till the T20 World Cup in October. Sriram will be involved in the team’s “game plans”, in effect taking over the duties of the head coach.

After meeting the BCB top brass, including board president Nazmul Hassan, Domingo said on Monday that he was happy to shift his focus to Test cricket and ODIs.

“I think it’s a great idea. It gives me a nice focus on the Test match and 50-overs stuff,” Domingo said. “We have had some great results, and bad results, in T20s. I don’t think it is a bad idea to make a fresh approach in T20s. I am very open-minded about it.

“It is not my team. It is not about me. I am all for making the team better. It gives me nice clarity with the 50-over World Cup coming. We know there’s a lot of work [to be done] with the Test team.”

Earlier this month, Jalal Yunus, BCB’s cricket operations chairman, had expressed his – and, therefore, the BCB’s – displeasure with Domingo, saying that the coach wasn’t aggressive enough in the T20 format. Khaled Mahmud, the Bangladesh team director, had also weighed in, saying Domingo’s philosophy in T20s didn’t match that of the team.

Avoiding a war of words, Domingo only said, “Family life is important for me. It is very difficult to sustain – to come to tournaments fresh, to come in with a good attitude. Everyone has their opinion. I know my philosophy. I know my coaching style. I don’t have too much of a comment on it.”

“I know my philosophy. I know my coaching style. I don’t have too much of a comment on it”

Domingo on the BCB’s recent criticism

Hassan revealed that Sriram, who recently stepped down from a long-term role with the Australian team and arrived in Dhaka on Sunday, and Domingo had been spoken to about their roles. “We met him [Sriram] for a while and discussed our future plans with Russell Domingo, who is going to give us a plan over the next three weeks,” Hassan said. “He [Sriram] was interested to see the NCL [National Cricket league] and A-team matches to see our future prospects and those who are not in the national team.”

Hassan however clarified that Sriram would not be given a “head coach” designation, even though he would be in charge during the Asia Cup, starting later this month.

“There’s not going to be a head coach [for the T20I side],” Hassan said. “We have a batting coach [Jamie Siddons], a spin coach [Rangana Herath], a fast-bowling coach [Allan Donald] and a fielding coach [Shane McDermott]. We have the captain [Shakib Al Hasan]. We also have a technical consultant [Sriram] for T20s. He will give the game plan. We will have the team director, Jalal bhai and myself. Who else [do we need]?”

Domingo also hinted at a “possible reshuffle” in Bangladesh coaching staff, which might include Siddons being asked to work with developing and discarded players.

“There’s a little bit of time before the Tests and ODIs. Jamie is talking about maybe being involved in the development,” Domingo said. “It [the break] gives me a bit of time to think about the coaching staff going forward. I have ideas about who I would like to have as a batting coach.

“When he [the new batting coach] is not available, Jamie can step in. There’s a lot of things I need to think about in the next few months. I really think Bangladesh has a good chance in the 50-over World Cup. The team is playing well. We have a good group of players.”

Domingo will get back to the team when the Bangladesh A side travels to the UAE to play against Afghanistan A. After the T20 World Cup in Australia, Bangladesh will host India at home in December.

“I will visit the ‘A’ tour in Dubai. A lot of our Test players will play there,” Domingo said. “Tamim [Iqbal], Mominul [Haque], [Nazmul Hossain] Shanto and Rabbi [Yasir Ali] haven’t played for a while so that’ll be a great opportunity. I will spend time watching NCL from mid-November. Those are part of my plan.”

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo’s Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84

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