‘There is no end to learning and teaching’
News Desk || risingbd.com
Former New Zealand batsman Craig McMillan has been appointed as the batting consultant to Bangladesh team for the tour of Sri Lanka starting in October.
The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) made the decision to name McMillan after former South African batsman Neil McKenzie stepped down from the post, citing family reasons.
McMillan, 43, scored more than 8,000 international runs for New Zealand in 55 Tests, 197 one-day internationals and eight Twenty20 internationals before retiring in 2007. After retirement, McMillan worked as New Zealand’s batting and fielding coach from 2014 to 2019.
In an interview with Yeasin Hasan, sports correspondent of popular online news portal risingbd.com over phone, McMillan shared his plan, working motto and future.
Risingbd: You are welcome for joining Bangladesh cricket team. What came first to your head after being appointed as the batting consultant?
Craig McMillan: The proposal to join as the batting consultant came to me all on a sudden. The head coach of Bangladesh Russell Domingo, also friend of mine, sent me the proposal. I was surprised after getting such a message from him. But I did not reply instantly. My family played a vital role in taking the decision. Prior to this, I have not worked with any of the Asian teams. I was waiting for this offer. Bangladesh Cricket Board gave me the opportunity. It seemed to me that I should take a challenge at this stage of life and I have just done that job. I am in long wait to work with Bangladesh players.
Risingbd: Can you remember any game that was played against Bangladesh?
Craig McMillan: I can remember that I visited Bangladesh more than once. Language, weather and culture are different there but people are quite hospitable which fascinated me much. Their love to cricket is also praiseworthy. The stadium in which we played was full to the brim. I can’t remember any game played in Bangladesh as Bangladesh was then an emerging cricket team able to compete. Now Bangladesh play competitive cricket match as well as it wins. In the span of time, it can be said that Bangladesh is now one of the superpowers in the cricket world.
Risingbd: You have got the job for only a series. How much challenging is it working for a short period?
Craig McMillan: Any sort of job is challenging be it for long time or for short time. Working for short time does not mean that chances to work are very low. We have been given appointment to make tour to Sri Lanka where I am getting sufficient opportunity to utilize. I assume that I could spend my time with batsmen for 15 sessions which is enough to show the best. There is no end to learning and teaching. I will extend my helping hand when I will see guys falling in trouble and making mistakes.
Risingbd: What is your working motto?
Craig McMillan: Nothing special. I have enjoyed batting in my entire cricket life. I will give the same motto what I followed in my time and that is you have to show yourself in a rectangular area of 22 yards. The day will be yours if you can keep your concentration. There will be no chance of regret if you fail. You have to wake up and fight for survival with fresh strength.
Risingbd: Bangladesh has not achieved success in red ball in the international arena the way the country achieved successes in white ball. Would like to share your view to get success in Test cricket?
Craig McMillan: Look, getting success in Test cricket is somewhat difficult. You cannot get success in red ball overnight. Concrete morale, acute eagerness and competitive attitude will give you the taste of success. Bangladesh is no longer a mediocre team. Bangladesh is now a competitive team in white ball cricket and able to beat the big teams with its own style. We can talk about the 2019 World Cup match between Bangladesh and New Zealand where Bangladesh could win if we were able to take up some crucial decisions. It was also possible for us to play the final match. That’s why, it is urgent to manipulate the decisions in the field. It is necessary to execute the decisions in order to win in the red ball cricket. Bangladesh are doing fine in recent times. Bangladesh can go a long way in Test cricket as we have no world class players.
Risingbd: BCB has appointed you only for the tour of Sri Lanka. Will you not try to work here even in limited scale by showing your eye catchy performance?
Craig McMillan: I am not paying my attention to this end right now. My only focus is on the upcoming tour, putting emphasis on the relation with players and their development. I must take it into consideration if everything seems to be fine in future.