Gary Kirsten, as part of his internal audit of the Bangladesh team, met with coach Mohammad Salahuddin on Tuesday morning in Dhaka. Salahuddin is a former Bangladesh assistant coach with much domestic success, including a BPL title with underdogs Comilla Victorians in 2015.
The meeting was significant as it suggests that Kirsten is looking for a local coach to be involved in the set-up; once he is done with the audit, Kirsten is to offer his recommendations for the appointment of a full-time Bangladesh head coach.
Kirsten also had sessions with Soumya Sarkar, Sabbir Rahman and the national selectors on the second day of the audit.
More than the domestic trophies his teams have won, Salahuddin’s reputation and effectiveness with big-name players that sets him apart. Shakib Al Hasan is one of many Bangladesh cricketers who regularly take inputs from Salahuddin on technical and mental aspects. Once, during an IPL, Shakib returned to Dhaka to work on his batting for two days with Salahuddin. Last year, Mominul Haque took batting sessions with Salahuddin to deal with his struggles against against offspin.
It has long been considered that Salahuddin is essential in the Bangladesh senior team’s coaching set-up. Last year, the BCB asked Salahuddin to join as a batting consultant but when he had arrived to complete formalities, he was told that the board had changed its mind.
This is the first time since then that Salahuddin has been involved in any senior team matters. He said Kirsten asked him about the game in Bangladesh in general, and a little about himself too.
“It was a pleasant experience meeting him but I don’t think he was meeting me as a coach. He was more of an administrator during our meeting,” Salahuddin told reporters at the Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel. “He had told me to come here today. He asked about Bangladesh cricket, our cricketers and he also asked about me.”