Can a new coaching staff make a difference?

With the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup in Australia scheduled for October this year, the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) has begun the process of reviving the national coaching staff.

The board were forced to make some changes to the coaching panel following a dismal campaign at the mega-event last year – where the Tigers lost to Scotland in the first round before lose all of their games at the Super 12 stadium.

Head coach Russell Domingo escaped the fallout unscathed as his contract was renewed ahead of last year’s T20 World Cup, but the BCB opted out of renewing coach Ryan Cook’s contract after the disappointing campaign.

Pace Bowling coach Ottis Gibson and batting coach Ashwell Prince parted ways with the BCB shortly after, not wishing to renew their contracts after touring New Zealand earlier this year and leaving more positions to provide.

The board first hired former Bangladesh head coach Jamie Siddons in December last year and initially appointed him to work in different capacities with local cricketers. But the Australian was then asked to sign on with the national team as a batting consultant for a two-year period. His inclusion has been appreciated by senior players and it is hoped the 57-year-old can help the batting department, which has remained a major concern across all formats.

On Saturday, former Bangladesh coach Shane McDermott was named national team coach.

The Aussie had worked with the Tigers as an outfield coach between 2006 and 2008. He also served as national academy head coach and high performance team fitness co-ordinator. He has been under contract until November 2023 and will join the Tigers this week ahead of their tour of South Africa.

However, it was the final decision this week, the appointment of South African bowling legend Allan Donald as bowling coach until the T20 World Cup, which was undoubtedly the biggest decision.

But despite the overhaul of the coaching staff, questions remain over whether the BCB can fully exploit the expertise of their new coaching panel.

Legendary West Indies pacer Courtney Walsh had worked as the Tigers’ fast bowling coach for four years between 2016 and 2019 but despite his guiding hand, Bangladesh’s bowling unit made no progress.

“We definitely need strong team management because it motivates the players if you have someone like Donald in the dressing room. In the past we had big names and if you talk about Walsh he was more a mentor. He doesn’t have any coaching experience. But Donald has a wealth of coaching experience and has worked for teams like New Zealand, South Africa and Sri Lanka.” BCB Cricket Operations Committee Chairman Jalal Yunus said yesterday.

“We also appointed McDermott, who is much more mature as a coach than when he worked with us in the past. Overall, it’s not just about the T20 World Cup. We have long-term plans with our coaching staff and we will watch how things go in the days to come.”

It will be interesting to see if the changes in the coaching panel will improve performance on the pitch or if things will stay the same.