Mominul Haque steps down as Bangladesh Test captain

Left-handed batter Mominul Haque has stepped down as Bangladesh’s Test captain, following the team’s series defeat at home against Sri Lanka.

Mominul, who has led Bangladesh in the longest format since October 2019, was affected by the captaincy pressure. He was struggling with the bat as well and averaged just 16.20 in 2022, with 162 runs from six matches.

Overall, Bangladesh won just three Tests under Mominul’s leadership, losing 12 and drawing two.

“When you play well, even if the team doesn’t win, you are still in a position to motivate them. I felt that captaining a side is tough when I am not scoring and the team is not winning. I think it is best to quit the captaincy,” Mominul was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.

“I feel I should focus on my batting. It wasn’t a hard decision. A captain has to contribute otherwise it brings a lot of pressure. The board president told me to stay on but I don’t want to be the captain,” he added.

Bangladesh began 2022 with a historic victory against New Zealand in Mount Maunganui, but they lost four of their next five Tests. They suffered series defeats against both South Africa and Sri Lanka.

According to ESPNcricinfo report, following the loss in the second Test against Sri Lanka in Mirpur last week, Mominul met with the BCB president Nazmul Hassan, indicating his wish to step down from the captaincy in order to focus on his batting.

Shakib Al Hasan is among the names being considered to replace Mominul, but a full-time captain is yet to be named.

“I am not concerned about Mominul’s captaincy. I didn’t hear anything from the coaches either. He is not getting runs, which is always a worry for a batsman. Mominul is going through a mental crisis. I told him immediately after the Dhaka Test that we believe in him,” Nazmul told Daily Star.

“I also heard Shakib’s name is in discussion for Test captaincy. Shakib used to be captain in all three formats but now I have to know what is he available for? He cannot make last minute decisions about his availability when he is the captain. We have to discuss it with him first. There are also other names being discussed. We have to make a well thought out decision. We cannot make someone a captain on a whim,” he added.

Shakib has had numerous stints as Bangladesh’s Test captain in the past. However, his future in Test cricket has been a topic of discussion in recent months, with the allrounder going back-and-forth on his commitment to red-ball cricket.

In February, Shakib had reportedly asked the BCB for some time off from Test cricket, but was nonetheless selected in the squad for the tour of South Africa. At that time, Shakib had suggested that he was “jaded”, and requested a break from international cricket, which the BCB eventually granted him.

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