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Optimist
March 1, 2004, 03:25 PM
Manjural Islam Rana seems to be the new find for Bangladesh in the recently concluded Zimbabwe test series. He batted with aplomb in the first innings which enabled Bangladesh to post their highest ever score against Zimbabwe. In the second innings he again showed his precocious maturity when things unfolded rather badly for the tourists on the evening of the fourth day. At 18 for 5 Bangladesh was in danger of breaking the all time lowest test score of 26. He showed immense cricketing sense and courage to keep his head down and guide Bangladesh to a somewhat respectable total. His talent was also there to see when he top scored for his team in the first innings of the second test, when Bangladesh plunged amidst the rain and was in danger of loosing the test even though the first two days were washed out. So far this is all plain sailing for Manjural. But what the future hold for him? You might ask what type of question is it. He is sure to be one of the future stars of Bangladesh who would carry us to cricketing glory. Letís look back.

In the 1990ís we had Aminul Islam Bulbul, Akram Khan and Minhazul Abedin. When they were young, they showed considerable talent. At their early age, they were almost at par with Morris Odumbe and Steve Tikolo. But while the later two carried on their early promise and shone on the international scene, our stars faded along the way. Sure enough they played some important knocks here and there but none of them fulfilled the early promise. While the Kenyan duo have 25 50ís and a century between them in 124 one day internationals, our trio combined for 10 50ís in 110 matches. And whereas our trioís international career seems to be over, the Kenyan duo are marching on. What went wrong? Before attempting to answer this, letís look at the newer generation.

First on the list is Muhammad Ashraful. What a wonderful test debut it was! He was basically chosen for his leg spin. In the first innings he came in at no. 7 and was the last man out after top scoring in a disastrous total of 90. Then came the second innings, Bangladesh was again looking down the barrel at 81/4 with 400+ runs to score to force Sri Lanka to bat again. The captain has already seen enough promise in his young prodigy to send him before him. What followed is now history, probably the greatest individual achievement in our short cricketing history. He clubbed all the bowlers including the great Muralitharan to all parts of the ground to score a swashbuckling century with 16 sweetly stroked boundaries. Surely there was a kid who was destined to lead his country out of the doldrums in which it was badly stagnant. But did he? 691 runs in 17 tests and 326 runs in 24 one dayers does not suggest so. What went wrong?

What about Alok kapali? He started with a decent 39 against Sri Lanka. That 85 against West Indies in Chittagong suggested great things to come. But did they come? No. Instead now he is out of the first 11 despite being singled out by his captain to be the best batsman of his team. What went wrong?

Can the answer be that we are happy with mediocre performances? Do we raise our players to the superhero status too early? Starved as we are for sporting success, it is very much possible that this is what we do. Our adulations with relatively insignificant success might have the effect of reducing the hunger in our potential sporting heroes. Heroes are not born. Letís not make heroes of undeserving cricket icons. Let them achieve that.

[Edited on 1-3-2004 by Optimist]

billah
March 1, 2004, 03:43 PM
Well said, man.

Beamer
March 1, 2004, 03:54 PM
Nicely put. More reason not to rush Nafis in.

pagol-chagol
March 1, 2004, 04:29 PM
bravo.

Beamer - How does this article contradicts with the reasons for including Nafis at this time? A lot of players come in with their collar up and go back. Some bounce back some don't. It just depends on the person. A lot of players in the world have come in under 20 and played great. Should you shut all the young guys out because of most of the others lack mental strength.

billah
March 1, 2004, 04:45 PM
Nafis is talented, no doubt. He lacks in temperament, fails in big matches. I think if we put him with the big boys, he will get enough opportunities to work on this weakness. Once he is over this flaw, he will do well.

Optimist
March 1, 2004, 05:17 PM
Theoretically, Nafis is the incumbent opener for the one dayers. So we are actually discarding him in favor of Shahriyar. My point is that we should make it very difficult for the players to come in to the team. At the same time, once a player is in he should be given enough opportunities to establish himself. The term "enough" is obviously relative but it can't be 1/2/3 matches. And we will have to remember that there is no quick fixes.

By the way thanks for the compliments. I just felt like writing this.

[Edited on 1-3-2004 by Optimist]

billah
March 1, 2004, 05:31 PM
I agree with Optimist. Players, once in, are given enough time to develop their skills in other teams that made the transition to successful test/ODI teams. Look at our high performer Rafique. It took him a while to find his "mojo". Same with Bashar (sans the recent results). It should be harder to make it in the top 15. Then, the top 15 should be kept intact as much as possible.

chinaman
March 1, 2004, 06:08 PM
Very nice article, Optimist. May we add this article to the front page?

Rubu
March 1, 2004, 06:29 PM
this is a very good article. Can easily be on the front page. Without going into the argument of nafis, i'll try to answer the theme question "what went wrong" with my tiny tuny cricket knowledge. anyone and everyone is welcome to argue with my points and find wrongs in it. Hopefully, after all that we'll be able to pin point the problems. These are not reasoning about akram, nannu, bulbul, ash or some other specific player. it is more about in general reasoning of failure of the team as a whole. They are just a list, not in any order of anykind:

* Players getting more applause than they deserve, so they started to day dream about themselves, being detauched from reality.

* Too many players of same quality. too much experiment in them. Selection board tested all of them without giving anyone a complete time period to prove themselve. Result, changed before performed, new one........ changed before performed and so on.

* Bad luck. Lots of players missing their primetime because of injury.

* Corruption in cricket board. Most of the time many of them didn't cared about the progress of cricket. Did bad things or didn't do the right thing.

* A series of so called 'coaches'. how much difference a coach can make whatmore or mohsin kamal showed us (in opposite way ofcourse).

* Players negative attitude. we didn't play to win. That effected team performance and therefore personal performance.

* This is a quesiton not a comment. Are they dedicated enough? Do they try hard enough? or just think that ok, i've my place in the team so who cares what happens. if not why whatmore has to make them listen to national anthem?

* Quality of domestic pitches.

ok, i give up. it will go on and on.

Optimist
March 1, 2004, 07:51 PM
Chinaman, it will be my great pleasure if you decide to put it in the front page.

[Edited on 2-3-2004 by Optimist]

Optimist
March 1, 2004, 07:53 PM
Agentsmith, all the points you raised are very much valid. But I would put emphasis on the players's dedication. I think whatever the limitations are if the players are dedicated enough they could have shown better

tnb
March 1, 2004, 08:14 PM
some very valid and good points, Agentsmith. Along with your first point complacency, the dedication thing is also a national problem. just that for these players it hurts immediately. not sure how much a 'coach' can do something on these.
Optimist- nice article! your example of Bulbul and Akram summarizes it all.

[Edited on 2-3-2004 by tnb]

chinaman
March 1, 2004, 10:12 PM
Originally posted by Optimist
Chinaman, it will be my great pleasure if you decide to put it in the front page.

Thank you very much Optimist. Since the current article is pretty new, I think it would better if we add your article tomorrow. Keep up the good work.