With praises for his work pouring in from two of the colossal figures of Bangladesh cricket in Mashrafe Bin Mortaza and Shakib Al Hasan, former national skipper and Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) director Khaled Mahmud has recently been enjoying a joyous period in his professional career.
Even though both Mashrafe and Shakib pointed fingers at many BCB officials in recent interviews to the media, the duo did not forget to sing praise of Mahmud's work with the Under-19 squad which won the World Cup last year.
From his playing days to working under different roles at BCB, Mahmud, however, has often been subjected to unfair treatment from fans on social media platforms. But even after such unfair belittling from the public, Mahmud is known among cricketers as someone who silently puts in the hardest of work in motivating and building the team from the inside -- his work behind the Under-19 side's World Cup triumph being the best of examples in that regard.
And this time, as the senior team go through a precarious situation following a string of series losses, Mahmud accompanied the 21-member preliminary squad to Sri Lanka for their two-Test series later this month. Bangladesh go on the tough tour on the back of some bleak performances -- losing 2-0 in Tests against West Indies at home before being whitewashed in both ODIs and T20Is away to New Zealand.
With such humiliating losses creating a stir among the players and the team management, Mahmud has been appointed as the team leader for the tour, vested with the responsibility of strengthening the bridge between players and the team management. And Mahmud mentioned he would trust and employ his own method in achieving that.
"I have my own ideas and my own thought process. I will think in that line. I know how to communicate with the players. There are no new faces to me as I know all of them [players] from working with them at different levels. I will try to follow my own ways and I think I can do that," said Mahmud yesterday before leaving for Colombo.
Bangladesh have recently been accused of having hierarchy within the team and for unequal treatment of players in the team. But according to Mahmud, everyone's responsibility remains equal when they don the red and green on the field.
"I don't want to say young (or old); they are all same to me. Although Tamim [Iqbal], Mushfiqur [Rahim], and Mominul [Haque] are experienced, the responsibility of each and every player is the same. When you don the national team shirt, the responsibility of everyone is equal," said Mahmud.
Mahmud also walked in the same line as most Bangladesh captains or coaches do before leaving for a tour saying that the team have the 'ability to perform' and would just need to 'play as a team' and 'execute their plans'. More often than not, such statements remain just that -- a statement. But can Mahmud turn these statements around to reality this time?