Monday, 31 March 2008

BCB makes peace offering to Heera

Former national captain Shafiqul Haque Heera has been reunited with the Bangladesh Cricket Board in the capacity of national team manager, ending a year-long bitter relationship.
The BCB on Monday appointed him the manager operations of the national cricket team for one year effective from the upcoming tour of Pakistan, where Bangladesh will play five one-day matches and a Twenty20 international from April 8 to 20.
The former wicketkeeper was shown the door by the BCB last April after serving seven years as the deputy director of development and the venue director of the Mirpur Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium. He was one of the representatives of the BCB at the host submission meetings of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011.
He was widely tipped for a return to the BCB as permanent manager of the national team prior to the home series against South Africa, but some officials blocked it mysteriously, souring his relationship with the cricket oversight body further.
Heera was interviewed for one post of permanent manager on January 13, but the BCB cancelled it on the pretext of having insufficient number of candidates. Only two candidates appeared for the post paving the way for the BCB to take the decision.
They instead appointed former national cricketer Omar Khaled Rumi as the manager for the South Africa and Ireland series. The former leg-spinner left the BCB red-faced by making an incoherent speech during the official dinner of the South Africa series that also made his future uncertain.
Heera was called back into the BCB on Monday for a renegotiation and after an hour-long meeting with Gazi Ashraf Hossain, the chairman cricket operations committee, his appointment was announced.
His one-year term also includes a tri-nation in Dhaka and the Asia Cup in June, Australia tour in September, home series against New Zealand in October, South Africa tour in November and the home series against Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe and West Indies up to April next year.
Its a new challenge for me. I will try to support the young team as well as the team management to the best of my ability, said Heera, who captained Bangladesh in the 1979 and 1982 ICC Trophy.
As the team operations manager my focus will be on overseeing that the practice sessions are well-organised and the players feel comfortable while traveling at home and away,said Heera.
This will be his sixth stint as the national manager as he held the post in different tournaments, home and away series since 1988. The last time he served as the national team manager was during the Zimbabwe and Kenya tour in 2006.

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