Steve Rhodes: Fall from the grace
|| CF Correspondent ||
Give me six months time and I will learn Bangla fluently, Bangladesh’s former head coach Steve Rhodes told reporters after the match against Afghanistan during the ongoing World Cup campaign.
Probably the Englishman hinted that time is running out for him because under normal circumstances if he was secured about his job he would have stated I will learn Bangla by next six months and not request the press to give him that time.
He was expected to be the head coach of Bangladesh till 2020 World Cup but this insistence implied all was not well with him and Bangladesh Cricket Board.
Rhodes statement apparently looked sarcastic but it was evident that he received certain indication from the BCB high-ups that suggested time was running out for him.
It eventually ended that BCB termed as mutual separation.
BCB officials coming to England to watch the World Cup were displeased with Rhodes and the reason behind it stated by several BCB high-ups on request of anonymity was that he looked to have very little control over the players, being a gentleman.
If BCB selection policy over coaches is taken into consideration it is not a surprise as former bowling coach Shane Jurgensen, who later acted as interim head coach before losing his job also fell into the same category.
However, BCB and Rhodes looked to be going into separate direction since the last edition of Asia Cup and the distance only grew bigger with passing days.
During the last Asia Cup in Dubai where Bangladesh lost to India in the final on at least two occasions certain things didn’t go as per the guideline of Rhodes.
It was learnt that the head coach was quite unhappy when BCB drafted Soumya Sarkar and Imrul Kayes on SOS basis to join the team after the unfortunate injury to Tamim Iqbal exacerbated by Liton Kumar Das and Nazmul Hossain struggling to provide good starts in the ongoing tournament forced them to do so.
Rhodes was in favour of one replacement but the entire process took place without his knowledge and when after seeing the duo he was quite surprised or more precisely shocked.
He did try to raise his voice but it went in vain as he was informed that the decision was taken by BCB high-ups who also did not play any heed when he wanted to continue with Nazmul Hassan in the playing XI despite his poor form as he believed the batsman should be given proper amount of opportunity to showcase his potential.
It’s just a game man
This philosophy of Rhodes- it’s just a game- did not go well with BCB either. BCB are more comfortable looking at coaches who were scratching their hair after each defeat rather than someone who hardly liked to make big noise and give an impression that the world is not in the right place after this outcome.
After a defeat in West Indies he came up with a similar approach when he was asked to explain the reason behind the loss and it seemed from that day BCB high-ups started doubting his coaching philosophy.
Though according to Shakib al Hasan the calmness of the team management was one of the main reason behind their success in the World Cup.
‘’I think our coaching staff deserves much credit. Because what used to happen earlier is that we used to panic in the dressing room. It was a big problem. The good thing that happens now is that, our coaching staff remained so calm that [there was] no chance to panic. It's contagious, it happens naturally. When someone panics another one starts to panic too. They are trying to push this in our dressing room and I think it's a big reason behind us chasing in this manner,’’ Shakib told media after they defeated West Indies in the World Cup.
Team analyst making the plan in the dressing room
According to some BCB officials Rhodes lacked the voice required to run the show in the dressing room. They suggested that analyst Shrinivas Chandrasekaran runs the show in the dressing room while Rhodes remains silent when he comes up with his planning to gun down the opponent at the team meeting before the game.
It was quite a new experience for the BCB high-ups who had witnessed Hathurusingha making all the calls and looked to have more authority in every decision making process.
According to some it was a move Rhodes took deliberately as he felt that Chandrasekaran can communicate better with the boys as he is from a sub continent background.
According to some cricketers coaching philosophy of Rhodes and Hathurusingha were completely different as far as planning and execution is concerned.
While the Sri Lanka liked to give instructions, Rhodes preferred to answer when someone comes up with his shortcomings as he believed that there is hardly anything to instruct for cricketers who are playing international cricketers for so long and it is only right to talk when the cricketers starts doubting his process that had proved dividend earlier.
BCB appointed Rhodes after Hathurusingha abruptly quitted from the post of head coach and Rhodes was given contract with salary of USD 23,000 per month.
Former South African player and India’s World Cup winning coach Gary Kirsten, who took the advisor role for a remuneration of USD 30,000 to assist the BCB in finding a new head coach after the post went vacant, recommended the name of the English man after making a short list since the departure of Hathurusingha.
BCB did not wanted someone to replace Hathurusingha with a similar approach as his rude behavior hurt many people in different roles over the course his tenure.
However, now it seems BCB is missing Hathurusingha tough mentality and approach as they are not quite used to deal with a gentleman called Steve Rhodes, who wanted to learn Bangla in six months to communicate better.
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