Being the national coach of Bangladesh cricket team is a demanding job especially with it's ever inquisitive fans who wants to keep tabs on every details possible. Richard Pybus offers us a first-hand interview to Zunaid Kazi about the behind-the-scenes of the camp.
BanglaCricket (BC): What are your impressions having now seen the boys up close in a competitive environment?
Richard Pybus (PB): It is very early days but I thought the guys adapted very well: new coach, southern hemisphere, adjusting to a specific game plan during a competition.
BC (Zeeshan Mahamud, US): What are your short-term and long-term goals?
RP: I'm not going to put pressure on the team by stating public goals. I think gradual improvement individually for players and collectively for the team in all competitions will be apparent to all. The side is young and we need to play more cricket to learn and improve.
BC: What do you see are the critical problems facing Bangladesh cricket and how would you like to go about resolving them?
RP: After 3 weeks in the job, it is too early to say, after 12 months I should have a perspective to be able to give some feedback. Often a Coach needs two full seasons to assess player depth and how the system develops players.
BC (Many): What do you think are your challenges?
RP: The primary focus is on getting to know the players and helping the side to grow, we obviously want to win all the matches we play, but realistically we need to take small steps, consistently.
BC: What do you see are the positives?
RP: There was an excellent spirit within the side throughout; the guys held their focus really well after losing the first two games.
BC: Time after time, our past national coaches have alluded to bad habits needed to be corrected to players already in the national team. How would you balance between development and, as you have indicated earlier, "a system based on excellence"?
RP: I'm more interested on focusing on the opposite ... Its more about developing good habits, good focus, good skills and game plans, we'll be able to evaluate that over the next 12 - 24 months.
BC (Razab Q Chowdury, US): On a related note, you showed that you can achieve success even in dysfunctional circumstances at Pakistan, but you had the advantage of once-in-generation talents such as Akram, Anwar, etc. What is your methodology to gain success even in non-ideal circumstances?
RP: All great players start somewhere. There is no reason why some of these players cannot go on and be special generational cricketers both for Bangladesh and internationally.
BC: What would you do to ensure that you have a good pipeline of players for the national side?
RP: I'm not in charge of the pipeline; my job is the national side. I am of course interested in our emerging players, talent ID is very important, then tracking, supporting and challenging these young guys.
BC: Speaking of the national side, what role do you think the head coach should play in the selection process? Have you had any discussion with the current selectors on how you would like to see this play out?
RP: I've already had good chats with the selectors and they know the players best. We both have the common goal of building a strong, competitive squad.
BC: On a more general note, how do you see the selectors, the Academy and other talent sources of Bangladesh cricket working together to fill the national pipeline?
RP: I'm not in a position to discuss how the Bangladesh system works; I don't know it well enough.
BC (Razab Q Chowdury, US): Each international coach has some specialty. Duncan Fletcher is considered a supreme analyst of opposition player and devising game plans against it. Siddons was/is considered an expert at tweaking batting techniques. Kirsten is considered the ultimate "man manager". What would you classify as your specialty?
RP: You'd have to ask players I work with! LOL
BC: Bangladesh Cricket fans are known to be extremely passionate and often impatient. What would you like to say to them?
RP: Small steps, all supporters are passionate, let us allow the side to grow and settle. We need to play a lot of cricket to learn the formats, learning is positive and negative which lets us know when we are on and off track.
BC (Asif Rahman, Canada): Coach - when will we win the World Cup?
RP: Teams win when they are ready to.