The former Bangladesh captain said he had no input into cricketing decisions during the tournament
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Khaled Mahmud said he regretted taking the role of Bangladesh team director for the World Cup because he knew he would not be allowed to provide any technical or cricketing input during the tournament.
Mahmud’s role, which he said is now limited to traveling with the team and maintaining discipline, came under scrutiny after the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) appointed S Sriram as a technical consultant ahead of the World Cup. This means that the team has, in addition to five specialist coaches, three heads in Mahmud, head coach Chandika Hathurusinghe, and Sriram, who will be the head coach of Bangladesh during the 2022 T20 World Cup.
Earlier in Dharamsala, Hathurusinghe said he was good at managing, but Mahmud felt differently three weeks ago in Delhi.
“I am just doing the role given to me by BCB,” Mahmud said. “I don’t have a decision-making role like I did in previous tours as a selector. Earlier, I tried to keep myself involved in the team. This time, I don’t have a role in cricketing. First, I don’t want to to be in this role like this. I have cricket in my blood. Coaching is my profession. But I am not involved in coaching Bangladesh team.
“I had a technical role even in the last World Cup when I could talk to the players. But this time, I avoided myself. I didn’t really enjoy this role as the head of the delegation. I just wandered around, played. The role as a guardian of the players. I take care of the discipline, but it’s not my job. If I knew this was my role, I wouldn’t have come to the World Cup.”
Mahmud pointed to Bangladesh’s series against New Zealand in Dhaka (Mirpur) ahead of the World Cup to suggest that their preparations were not well planned. Bangladesh played most of their ODIs in 2022 and 2023 in Chattogram and Sylhet to get used to good batting conditions, but went to Mirpur before the World Cup.
“I don’t know what I was thinking when I said before the World Cup that we would play in the semi-final,” Mahmud said. “Maybe I saw the body language and playing style of the guys. I honestly think they will do well in Indian conditions. My expectations are high.
“I am not in favor of playing against New Zealand in Mirpur before the World Cup.Khaled Mahmoud
“I am not in favor of playing against New Zealand in Mirpur before the World Cup. Why do we have to play on rotating pitches? Why do we want to win that series? We should have played in Chattogram and Sylhet. We lost the series despite New Zealand not bringing their top players. We need to be more serious, ahead of time, about the World Cup.”
Bangladesh have lost the last six of their seven matches so far in the World Cup, and are the first team to be knocked out of contention for the semi-finals.
“We have to play our best cricket in the next two matches. We have to beat Sri Lanka,” Mahmud said. “Our players were not in a good mood. They had to do everything as they did, but they were also hurt. We had high expectations. We didn’t do well as a team. They [the players] feel that they have failed. The dressing room was very quiet. We came here as a good team but we couldn’t perform as a team.
Bangladesh are currently in ninth place in the World Cup and need to finish in the top eight to qualify for the 2025 Champions Trophy. Their last two matches are against Sri Lanka in Delhi on November 6, and against Australia on November 11.
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo’s Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84