'Want full support of players, BCB heads' - Walsh

Courtney Walsh chats with Bangladesh seamers Kamrul Islam, Subashis Roy and Taskin Ahmed AFP

Bangladesh's ordinary form in recent times will give interim coach Courtney Walsh food for thought but his biggest challenge is going to be to tackle the hands-on approach of the BCB president Nazmul Hassan, who has already made it clear that he will have "direct involvement" with the team.

Hassan and a coterie of his trusted board directors have been exercising their influence on team affairs since 2015, slowly institutionalising their authority through fundamental change in selection policy in 2016 and nonstop discussion of team selections, player mindsets and team plans in the media over the last 18 months.

They appointed Khaled Mahmud, a board director, as the senior team's technical director in January this year. While Mahmud's position had been taken away last month, Hassan, frustrated by the team's results in the ODI tri-series and the Test and T20 series against Sri Lanka, has vowed to be more involved. He is expected to travel to Sri Lanka with several board directors during the Nidahas Trophy T20I tri-series.

In his pre-departure press conference in Dhaka on Saturday, Walsh said he hoped to have the full support of all the players, but also of the BCB bosses.

"Everything happened in a rush in the last [series]," Walsh said. "It is different now since there's someone who is responsible for organising and ensuring things are done properly. I will be trying to have dialogues with all the relevant parties, as to what's required. I think it is good for someone to be able to hold their hand up and say yes or no to what's happening.

"I am excited to be in that position. I am sure I will get the full support of the BCB, president, directors, senior players and even the junior players. Once everybody comes to the table and we work together, it will be good to start planning how we go from here."

During most of his time as the Bangladesh head coach, Chandika Hathurusingha managed the level of involvement by the BCB high-ups. There was the odd fallout, particularly during the Mominul Haque selection saga in August last year, but generally, Hathurusingha enjoyed BCB chief Hassan's support in most matters.

It would now be interesting to see whether Walsh, tapped by Hassan to be the interim coach last month, also gets his full support.

Walsh meanwhile has said his message to the Bangladesh players would be to let go of any added pressure. "I will tell them to go out there and express themselves and enjoy the game," he said. "They have to execute the game plan as best as they can. It is no point going into a game with added pressure. We have to relax and enjoy what we are doing, with purpose. I want them to feel proud playing for Bangladesh."

Walsh also said he has faith in the pace bowlers to come good in the T20 tournament, especially after taking them through a special camp last week. Fourteen pace bowlers, including those who were later picked in the 16-man squad for the Nidahas Trophy, worked under Walsh in between domestic one-day matches.

"I am hopeful that the execution on match day will be good," he said. "The camp was focused on them. Now they have to go and execute it in the middle. We will be depending on Rubel [Hossain], Mustafiz [Mustafizur Rahman] and Taskin [Ahmed], who has been recalled, along with Rony [Abu Hider] and Rahi [Abu Jayed]."