Russell Domingo has stated in his first press conference as the head coach of Bangladesh that his primary goal is to create a strong connection with the players.
Domingo and Charl Langeveldt held their first press conference as the newly appointed head coach and fast bowling coach of the Bangladesh cricket team at Mirpur.
The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) announced Domingo as the head coach on Saturday, after parting ways with Steve Rhodes following a lackluster World Cup campaign. Former South African fast bowler Charl Langeveldt replaced West Indian legend Courtney Walsh as the fast bowling coach.
“My first goal is to connect with the players. I want to create a good relationship; it is important to attain the confidence of the players. I will observe a few things in the next couple of weeks. The observation will be how the players are learning from me,” Domingo stated.
Asked about Bangladesh’s recent performances at the World Cup and at the Sri Lanka tour, he said, “I don’t think Bangladesh is a bad team just because they lost to Sri Lanka. I haven’t read too much about Bangladesh’s performance in Sri Lanka. They played really well in the World Cup. They lost a few matches where they were very close to victory. The missed run-out opportunity against New Zealand cost them dearly. The Bangladesh team is very near to being a superpower in world cricket.” He also added that development is impossible without playing test matches regularly.
He mentioned that cricket is not new in Bangladesh and he will have to adapt here. “I’ve not arrived here to change the world. Cricket has always been played in the sub-continent. We don’t expect Bangladesh Cricket to adjust with us, rather we have to adjust with Bangladesh Cricket. We have to find out ways of creating a process. We have to get accustomed to the existing culture,” he said.
Asked about the expectation of fans and the pressure that will be on him, he said that he faced this as the head coach of South Africa. “I worked as the head coach of South Africa for five years. People expected us to win every game. I am well aware of that expectation and pressure. I am looking forward to it. I am excited to be able to work with the team because I enjoy the pressure as a coach,” he replied.
The 44-year old South African was pretty amused at the attention he was receiving from the Bangladeshi media. He said, “I never saw so many reporters together. Even before a big match in South Africa, only 8-9 reporters were present. There were probably a hundred cameras at the airport yesterday. This gave me an idea about Bangladesh Cricket. Maybe Bangladeshi people’s emotion about cricket is what inspired me to come here.”
Charl Langeveldt, the fast bowling coach was asked about the language barrier between him and the players, which was apparent during Walsh’s tenure.
“I faced this challenge in Afghanistan too. I have seen that if you work individually rather than collectively, the players feel a lot more comfortable. I know how to handle this,” Langeveldt replied.
He also added that he will try as much as he can and do whatever is necessary. “If that doesn’t work, I’ll ask for help from someone. I’ll talk slowly, not very fast. I’ll listen carefully to what players want to say. I’ll create a relationship like this. It is very important to create a relation with fast bowlers. If someone wants to talk about personal matters, they can say it, they can say anything which makes them comfortable. My door is open for every bowler. If I need a translator, I’ll hire one. I know it is challenging and I’m looking forward to passing this challenge,” the former Protea fast bowler added.
Domingo and Langeveldt have joined the team, who are currently participating in a conditioning camp at Mirpur. Their first assignment will be the one-off test series against Afghanistan, which commences on the 5th of September.