Former England wicketkeeper Steve Rhodes is set to become the Bangladesh head coach for all three formats later this week. His appointment will end the BCB’s search for a new coach that has lasted eight months following Chandika Hathurusingha’s resignation last October.
ESPNcricinfo has learned that since the other candidates have not been called up for a face-to-face interview, Rhodes is BCB’s No. 1 choice. It is also understood that Rhodes is Gary Kirsten’s recommendation. Kirsten was recently appointed BCB’s short-term consultant to find coaches. The BCB is also in talks with Lance Klusener as a batting consultant.
Rhodes, who will turn 54 next week, played 11 Tests and nine ODIs and is now known for his talent-spotting skills. He had been in charge of Worcestershire since 2006, having played for them from 1985 to 2004. But he was sacked last year by the county and relieved of his duties as head coach of the England Under-19 squad just before the World Cup, after it emerged that he had failed to report the arrest of a young allrounder – Alex Hepburn – in a timely fashion.
He also oversaw the promotion of Worcestershire into Division One of the County Championship at the end of the 2017 season and had been recently made an England scout. His work with Worcestershire involved promoting a young and homegrown squad.
“I can confirm I’ve had talks with Bangladesh,” Rhodes told ESPNcricinfo. “And I can confirm I’m interested in what I think is a really prestigious role. But nothing is confirmed at this stage and nobody should jump the gun and presume it is.”
BCB CEO Nizamuddin Chowdhury said that Rhodes’ experience, especially in English conditions, gave him a distinct advantage over the other shortlisted coaches. With the World Cup in England under a year away, the BCB had been seeking someone with that specific background, which is why they had initially almost confirmed Paul Farbrace. Rhodes was also part of the England coaching staff during their Test series in Bangladesh in 2016.
“Steve Rhodes is in our shortlist as a head coach,” Chowdhury said. “We are hoping that he will meet us in Dhaka in a couple of days. We shared our tentative candidates list with Gary Kirsten so this is a joint effort. The list is made up of his recommendations and our list, which is why Rhodes is coming this week.
“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.”
Chowdhury further said that Rhodes will be making a presentation about his plans with the Bangladesh cricket team, similar to Richard Pybus and Phil Simmons’ interviews in December.