Mushfiqur Rahim is ready to accept criticism over his performance if it is poor, but questions over his sincerity, discipline and responsibilities make him upset.
Sports journalists were waiting to take photos and comments of the cricketers after Saturday’s practice, but no one was showing up.
At one stage of the wait, they came to know that Mashrafe Bin Mortaza, Shakib Al Hasan, Tamim Iqbal and the others sat with Bangladesh Cricket Board Director and BPL Governing Council Member Secretary Ismail Haider Mallick, and BCB CEO Nizam Uddin Chowdhury.
The Tigers cleared their stance over the comments MA Awwal Chowdhury, an owner of the Barisal Bulls, made on a TV talk show.
After the lengthy discussion, Mallick came to brief the media. Mushfiqur and Nizam Uddin were also with him.
The Test captain’s tearful eyes and gloomy face were saying it all.
Mallick first spoke about the situation, but the reporters wanted to hear Mushfiqur’s comments.
Mushfiqur, who usually touches every angle during his orderly speeches to the media, lost tracks repeatedly and struggled to speak by the end of his speech.
“I have been playing cricket for 17 years, 12 of them for the national team. No one has ever said such things about me until now,” Mushfiqur said.
“Anyone can say that I’m not a good player. But (no one can say) I’m not disciplined, or I have no sense of responsibility, or that I can’t motivate the players and don’t speak at team meetings
“It’s very difficult for me to hear these as a cricketer… This happened to me today, and it may happen to someone else tomorrow… When you serve the country for so many years… ( without being criticised this way), it is the least you can want.
After saying this much, the 29-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman walked out of the conference with tears welled up in his eyes.
Mallick took over from where the BPL Icon left off.
“We haven’t given anyone the right to speak about one of our captains or a national team player in such way. The BPL has a Code of Conduct which the franchises have to abide by.
“If they have any complaints against the players, they have to send it to the BPL Governing Council. If any player makes a mistake, the job of disciplining or punishing them falls on the board. No franchises have the authority to do that.
Awwal, one of the owners of the Barisal Bulls franchise and a BCB director, questioned Mushfiqur’s leadership, discipline and sense of responsibility while speaking to a private TV channel.
The member secretary of BPL Governing Council feels Awwal’s account was ‘indecent’.
“I and our CEO saw the whole video, and we thought it wasn’t decent. I have also discussed it with the chairman of the governing council. The board president is not in the country. We would’ve have spoken to him too had he been here. Whatever was said in the video was utterly unacceptable,” he said.
Now Barisal are criticising Mushfiqur, one of the most reliable and successful cricketers of the country, but they eagerly took the tested player to their team the last time.
“Mushfiqur didn’t want to enrol in Barisal, which rather expressed interest in getting him. We gave Mushfiqur after consulting him…Now the comments they are making are hard to accept,” Mallick said.
He also said the BCB had summoned Awwal. “We’ll ask him to explain his comments. If he cannot give proper answers, we’ll act against his franchise. The punishment can be monetary or any other kind,” he said.
Mallick added that Mushfiqur needed nothing more to do after informing the authorities.