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Important that I keep the noise away from the players - Domingo

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Russell Domingo, the Bangladesh head coach, has insisted that he is comfortable working with team director Khaled Mahmud, even as the latter has been given great control in having the final call on the Playing XI of the side.

Domingo's powers have been reduced over the last few months. In the official presser ahead of the second ODI against Afghanistan in Chattogram on Thursday (February 24), Domingo was asked if he is confident of completing his tenure as Bangladesh's head coach, especially following the appointment of former head coach Jamie Siddons as the batting consultant, who is closer to the senior members of the team than Domingo.

"You must ask the BCB. If I weren't a confident coach, I wouldn't be coaching an international team. Whatever the media or public say, for me, I don't wanna sound rude, but it is not that important. You can write what you want about me and the players, it is important that I keep that noise away from the players. If I get affected by it, I can't expect my players to not be affected by it," said Domingo.

"For me, the team director (Khaled Mahmud) is very much a link between me and the board members to communicate what's happening, communicate what we are thinking about selection. I got enough on my plate to talk to directors about what the line-up is going to be, what the toss is going to do. I don't want to be focusing on that. Great to have Chacha (Mahmud) there as he can feed all that information and take the stress away from me,'' he said before welcoming Australia's Siddons on the board.

"He (Siddons) is an experienced coach who has worked all around the world. He knows the system. He probably knows these players better than I do. He has been here before. It is good to have him on board. He will bring a lot of experience to our coaching staff," he said.

Domingo also brushed aside the criticisms by Mashrafe Mortaza and stated that he is not interested on the opinion of the former national skipper.

"Has Mash retired yet?" rhetorically asked Domingo.

"To be honest, I am not interested in players (Mashrafee) that are not part of the squad at the moment. As I said, noise from outside - what people say or write - are not that important in my life. My focus is on my team, my family and my job. Not too much else," he added.

Domingo said that he was confident that Bangladesh would win the first ODI against Afghanistan even when they were left reeling at 45 for 6 at one stage in the run chase.

"When Miraz [Mehidy Hasan] was walking out to bat, I told Sree that they will put on 150. We will still need 15 with Taskin and Shoriful to come. There's a lot of confidence in Miraz's batting at the moment. He has a Test hundred. He batted well in New Zealand and BPL. I know it sounds hard to believe, I thought we could still do it. It was a good wicket. Run-rate was in our hands.

"I know how good Afif [Hossain] is. I have seen him do it before in T20s. I think he is a fantastic player. He will be one of Bangladesh's best white-ball players. It was really pleasing to see them bat in that particular way yesterday. I was very proud of that partnership.

"As soon as the required number came down to 60, I thought we had a good chance. The momentum was with us. They were running out of bowling options at that stage. The wicket was playing nicely. The light break made me a bit nervous. It stopped our momentum as we had two or three before the light break. Afif got stuck a bit but showed great maturity to go through that phase," he said.

He also added that even as concerns remain over the Number 5 position in the line-up, he isn't keen on promoting Afif up the order from his present No 7 slot.

"Whilst we have a keeper and a frontline in the top-order, No 7 is the perfect position for him. He is really calm in the way he finishes games. He has options at the death. He has a lot of work to do against the new ball. I am in no rush to get him up the order. That position is perfectly suited for his style of play.

However, despite the win, Domingo believes there are several areas of improvement for the team, who currently sit in the second spot on the ICC Super League points table.

"We have to play better cricket tomorrow than we did yesterday. We bowled 13 wides yesterday. We dropped a catch. We were 45-6. We need a massive improvement in yesterday's performance in every department. We had one fantastic partnership,'' he concluded.

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