View Full Version : Points to ponder

April 1, 2003, 09:38 PM
Source Daily Star...

Points to ponder
Athar Ali Khan

As being a former national player, I would like to put forward some proposals to the Bangladesh Cricket Board to improve the present sorry standard of the game.

1. Build a very strong infrastructure based on all age groups. To start with, revive the old format of National League (3 and 4 day games), which was played in all divisional quarters-- Dhaka, Chittagong, Sylhet, Khulna, Rajshahi and Barisal-- and on home and away basis. If possible, let a few big institutions to participate in it. Inter School, College and University tournaments should commence immediately after one day and three-day format.

I really admire the idea of our former Board president KZ Islam, who made sure that each year 5 cricketers would stay in UK for 6 months to get used to different conditions and pitches in UK by playing club cricket. Board should start sending players to UK, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, West Indies and elsewhere on regular basis. It can also invite first class teams from other countries to participate in Premier and National leagues.

Formation of Development squad and their participation in the Premier league is definitely a good step. The Under-19 team should also participate in First Division league.

2. The Board needs to immediately hire curators who will train our grounds-men so that they can prepare all kinds of pitches i.e. fast, hard and bouncy and spin-friendly wickets with an even and true bounce. The pitches should be maintained round the year otherwise it would not be of any help.

3. Standard of umpiring has to be improved significantly. Players get lot of unfair advantages playing in the local league but once they play outside Bangladesh they fail. Training course and practical experience should be a must for them. Training classes should be supervised by qualified overseas coaches.

4. Selection committee must include only former players who have played for a certain number of years in ICC Trophy, Asia Cup, World Cup and Test Matches. Selectors have to know about every player's strength and weakness and their performance should be evaluated after every series. They need to be on the ground whenever a match is on and submit their reports to BCB.

5. Take strong actions against bowlers with suspect bowling action. Umpires should be very strict in this regard. Quite a few players are playing with highly suspect actions in premier league.

6. Audio and video classes will enrich a player's knowledge about the game and his opponents. Video analysis will pinpoint the weaknesses and strength of each of our players and as well as their opponents. This will immensely help our players, both physically and mentally, while playing against other Test playing nations.

7. Each players should have his batting, bowling and fielding recorded so that they can see for themselves what kind of mistakes they are making and how to rectify it. This has to be compulsory during a match and practice session. Perhaps, a technical analyst (with a cricket background) should be employed to take care of this aspect.

8. Overseas coaches should be in charge of all age group teams but local coach should train the national team. Local coaches should be sent abroad on regular basis so that they get to know about new method of training and technology.

9. Bowling machines should be used in practice of all age groups, schools, colleges, clubs and national team. We do not have genuine quick bowlers but we need to practice against very fast deliveries, which is only possible by the bowling machine. Bowling machine is also capable of bowling all kinds of deliveries i.e. fast, medium, slow or any kind of spin.

10. Discipline in the team must have to be maintained strictly. Strict measures should be taken against an indisciplined player, even if he is the best cricketer in the team.

11. Set aside politics and personal interest in the Board. Everyone should together for the betterment of the game.

The reality is that cricket in Bangladesh will not improve overnight, nor in a few years. It will take years of sincere efforts and dedication to achieve that goal. We need reform cricket managers (Board), then the clubs and finally the players. -- (The writer is a former Bangladesh opener)