Gazi Ashraf Hossain Lipu has been seen in different roles at various times in Bangladesh cricket.
Although the former captain of the national team kept himself away from working directly with cricket recently, he has returned with a bang, shouldering the weighty responsibility of selecting the team.
He has been given the responsibility of Chief Selector of the national cricket team by the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB).
Excited to get such an important responsibility, Lipu said that the role is both interesting and challenging.
The first identity of 63-year-old Lipu is that he is a former cricketer of the Bangladesh national team.
He was the captain in the country’s first international match where Bangladesh played in the Asia Cup for the first time in 1986.
Lipu played seven ODIs for the country and at the end of his playing career, he became the manager of the national team.
After that, he worked as a BCB Director where he held the post of Head of Game Development Department and was also the Head of Cricket Management Department and he has also served as the chairman of the BPL Governing Council.
“Definitely happy,” he told The Business Standard. “If I can work for Bangladesh Cricket, it will be a pleasure. This is a new responsibility for me. I have worked at various levels in cricket before but being a selector was something that remained incomplete for me until now.”
“If we talk about things coming full circle then it is definitely in a way to be able to play on the field, be the captain, be a team manager, be a cricket organiser, and now to be able to work with the board and be involved in the selection process of the national team at this stage is going to give me a lot of joy,” he added.
A selector’s main and only objective is to build the best team and Lipu wants to fulfil the task with devotion, “I will make the best possible team with my selection committee and coordination with the coach and captain. I will try to follow as many games as possible and I will try to fulfil the duty of selecting the best team by deciding through that process.”
Lipu previously received other offers from the board to work in many other positions including the position of selector.
He, however, did not respond earlier due to various reasons, but now feels, “This is the time.”
“I had received many offers from the board previously but as my mother was ill I had no chance to take any of those offers. My mother passed during Covid. At that time I did not have time to think about such work.”
But this time the board approached him in a tactful manner which Lipu also liked and decided to take the job up.
Talking to the board officials, he felt that he could contribute to Bangladesh’s cricket by becoming Chief Selector.
“Now I have a chance to think with more clarity because if I take any responsibility, I have to have time to properly fulfil it. After talking to all the board officials who have contacted me in this regard, I feel that I can contribute with responsibility,” he said.
Bearing in mind that this will be a challenging job Lipu said, “This role is definitely challenging. Each time there is a bilateral series with each team, the team has to be selected based on their strength. You have to select the team differently for the global tournament. There needs to be a nice combination here.”
“We are a panel and we have the task of selecting the best team through proper coordination with the coach and captain and that is definitely challenging. Team selection is more challenging, especially for global tournaments. There is one strategy for selecting a home team, but a different strategy for overseas teams. The team has to be made considering the opponents and conditions. So this is interesting and challenging,” he concluded.