Former England wicketkeeper Steve Rhodes is all set to arrive in Bangladesh for an interview for the post of Bangladesh’s head coach, confirmed BCB chief executive Nizamuddin Chowdhury on Tuesday (June 5).
According to BCB insiders, he should in all likelihood take up the position that has been vacant for the past eight months after the unexpected resignation of Chandika Hathurusingha in October, 2017.
“Steve Rhodes is in our shortlist as a head coach and we are hoping that he will meet us in Dhaka in a couple of days,” Nizamuddin told reporters. “We have already communicated with him that we would like to know what plans he has for the Bangladesh team for the 2019 World Cup and 2020 World T20.
“Generally, when someone is appearing for an interview here, it is assumed that we have had some basic discussions with him.”
Nizamuddin added that short-term consultant Gary Kirsten, who had been appointed to help the board find the right man for the job, had recommended Rhodes’s name after completing the internal audit last month.
“We shared our tentative candidates list with Gary Kirsten. It is a joint effort as our shortlist is made up of Kirsten’s recommendations and our list,” Chowdhury added. “We had initially approached big names and experienced coaches but they couldn’t come because of various reasons. Among the currently available coaches, Rhodes is the most experienced. Also, the 2019 World Cup will be held in England which is another reason that we are looking at him,” he stated.
Nizamuddin also added that he is expecting the new head coach to take over during the break between the ongoing Afghanistan series and the upcoming West Indies tour.
Rhodes had a successful playing career as a wicketkeeper for Yorkshire and Worcestershire. He also played a handful of games for England during 23 years as a professional. After retiring, he began coaching and took over as Director of Cricket at Worcestershire in 2006, overseeing the development of a strong core of young, homegrown talent which helped the club achieve promotion to Division One of the County Championship last year. His work was well regarded at the ECB and Rhodes was part of the coaching staff for England’s tour to Bangladesh in 2016.
His time at Worcestershire ended in controversial circumstances however when he was sacked late last year after allegedly failing to report the arrest of one of his players. When the incident came to light some months later, the county felt they had little choice but to remove Rhodes even if some within the club felt he was simply trying to assist someone who had turned to him for help. Whatever the motive, it was a serious error of judgement and he was removed as head coach of England’s U19 team for the World Cup as a result.
After being out of the top level of the game since then, Rhodes was recently named as one of England’s new band of scouts tasked with watching prospects on the county circuit and providing feedback on them to Ed Smith’s selection panel. Given his record for spotting and nurturing talent, that seemed like a sensible move but should a deal with Bangladesh be agreed, the ECB will need to find a replacement.
Earlier, BCB had interviewed Richard Pybus and Phil Simmons too for the position.
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