View Full Version : An Alternative Outburst to our Failure

Flip Master Mick
July 30, 2004, 09:35 AM
I just finished reading Ahmed Iqbal's article, "Elixir of Fighting Spirit." To say the least, I am immensely moved by the content of the piece. However, I am not quite sure it will have the same effect on most of our players even if we went as far as to translate it into Bangla for them. I have been a member of this forum for about four months now and I have come across a whole lot of analysis of our cricketing activities. There is an abundance of dedication on our part (BC members) for the betterment of BD cricket. And it is very much evident here. Sometimes I feel that some of our more revered members should have a say in the selection process or even be advisors to the BCB.

One interesting point that came to my mind this morning in the subway on my way to work feeling utterly devastated by today’s performance was that maybe we are evaluating our team on a totally ‘micro’ level. Here is a quote from Ahmed Iqbal, “The technique, the talent, and the training – it is all there. What has been, and is still largely missing, is the spirit and heart of a fighter.” Did any of you ever stop to wonder that we are really not a nation of fighters? We may not be a failed nation, but we certainly are a dysfunctional nation. And our youth is the most affected. Our players are products of the same society that breeds indiscipline, unaccountability, short-sightedness, etc. Why should we expect our cricketers to achieve wonders for us? I am sure a few of them never even dreamt of playing test cricket while they were growing up. I may be wrong here but I strongly believe that they probably are not even the most talented cricketers of our country. And I am not going to blame politics for this. Playing professional cricket was never an option for a huge number of talented cricketers in our society. It still isn't. Our parents want us to become doctors, lawyers, investment bankers, computer engineers. And they are others who piss away their lives on anti-social activities. I am sure we are all aware of the prevalence of social ills that is crippling our youth. Some of you may question the relevance of this point but think about it – cricket still is not a game for common people in England (of course only if you consider England to be the standard bearer of cricket). It is only recently reaching the masses in countries like India and Pakistan. It is still largely an elitist sport. Indians and Pakistanis have been playing cricket for a while now. Initially, it was the Muslim Nawabs and Hindu Rajas that led the way and it gradually trickled down to the masses. Even now most Indian players come from educated backgrounds. Pakistan is a different matter altogether. Socio-economically they may be similar to us. But their cricket pioneers were mostly from affluent classes and ever since the departure of Imran Khan we have been witnessing a gradual decline in their performance. Why? They probably are the only other dysfunctional test playing country. But they still have world class bowlers as well as batsmen. They are physically better endowed than us; whereas we are mostly malnourished and traditionally of a smaller physique. Their cricketing culture is much older than ours. Last but not least, they are a proud nation; which we are not. Pride did miracles for them during Imran’s reign. But now, with cricket being revamped the ‘Australian Way’ along the line of other professional sports – they are failing miserably, considering that their talent only rivals that of Australia. Maybe, just maybe, our current crop of players cannot comprehend the intricacies of modern day cricket. The dedication, the discipline, the strength (mental and physical), the fitness, the aptitude and more importantly the ‘sheer will to succeed’ that no one ever instilled in the minds of our nation is absent in our players.

I wanted to take a different approach and contribute to the forum. Much has been written about our failures on a micro level. My elitist views may not be appreciated by some. But do not get me wrong. I am as proud as proud can be that my country plays test cricket - especially coming from the generation that always had to pick an alien country to cheer for. All I am saying is that we need time. The realization that we are a test playing nation needs to settle in. I feel our expectations are too high. You have to catch them when they are very young. The domestic cricket structure needs to be put in place. Whatmore, Woolmer, Wright if combined probably wouldn’t be able to change the outcome of this Asia Cup. So let’s move on. Inshallah the day isn’t far that our players will make us proud.

July 30, 2004, 09:43 AM
Inshallah the day isn’t far that our players will make us proud.
I been hearing that since 99.

nevertheless, nice attempt in coming up w/ the root cause....so what is the solution? TIME?

time even heals broken hearts.. right :)

[Edited on 30-7-2004 by Orpheus]

July 30, 2004, 09:53 AM
Very well said FMM.

July 30, 2004, 10:22 AM
Dear Flip Master Mick

May we publish the above post as a front page article? Thanks.

July 30, 2004, 12:34 PM
Is it possible to send a copy of this article to each and every player to our national and under 19 team? They need to know how we fans feel about bd cricket.

Bangla Mostan
July 30, 2004, 01:13 PM
I think they know how us fans are feeling which is why some of them are cracking under pressure, hence letting the enitre team down. It is a team effort, that produces results....and we are frustrated, but we must be patient and allow they players to focus more rather than crack when the pressure alarms are ringing!!:flag::tiger:

Flip Master Mick
July 30, 2004, 02:54 PM
orpheus... we gotta check our expectatios man... as i read chinaman write somewhere that our batmens' initial target should be to score just 10 runs and then try and add 5 runs at a time... everytime bd plays i go through a emotional roller coaster ride and at the end of it i am short for breath... so it is similar in some sense to a relationship with a girl and i would never expose myself for five friggin' years and get hurt every other month by a girl the way i have done for our team... its like forcing a chick to go through an abortion and then feeling bad afterwards... and how many times has it been for us, bd fans?

chinaman... you are welcome to put this up on the font page...

al Furqaan
July 30, 2004, 10:26 PM
FMM , check ur U2U.

this is an awesome article.

July 31, 2004, 05:02 AM
FMM, I've just got done reading yours.
What a fantastic read..!!
You really made us face some aspects of our characters as Bengalees, which are not probably kosher to talk about.

The absence of fire-n-the-eye or even fighting instinct that seems to be desperately missing from BD players may as well be a cultural phenomenon unique to us or ingrained deep in our psyche.
Cricket aside, we have been playing Soccer for ages w/ professional players. Yet, we are not even a blip in the radar of Asian Football.

We are supposed to be a nation of poets and romantics (vs. so called fighting races: Mongols, Punjabis, Pathans etc.).

Maybe we are expecting too much from the players, who are still trying to find their 'calling'(s) in the cricket.

What really baffles me is the apparent apathy from most players to take lessons from their mistakes and try to rectify them.
I wonder how much of it is cultural- not used to of being accountable.

Talk about ‘pride’ etc. often comes out while discussing our performance. May be this whole concept is alien to most of us as it was to me until I came to North America.
Growing up in BD, we have always been bombarded by the virtue of being polite, soft spoken (‘Nomro’) and gentle (Bhodro) etc. The most desirable aspect of characteristic was being a meek one (Omaik).
The very idea of self- assurance or confidence, if I remember correctly, was frowned upon as being ‘show off’. There is no divisive line between someone who is not insecure vs. someone who is a boastful loud mouth. All of them were categorized under blanket ‘Beadab’ (lack of respect) banner.
If you notice the Bengali word for pride, ‘Gorbo’ is also at times interchanged with the word ‘Ahonkar’, latter one carrying a negative connotation and can loosely be translated as conceit/vanity.
In the ‘educated families’ (bhodro poribars), kids are constantly encouraged to play down their achievements in fear of others interpreting them as swagger.

So, it shouldn’t come as total surprise if the politeness pendulum has swung too far to the other side where we can’t even muster any legitimate pride when its due lest it comes of as arrogance.

I recall one of my very early semesters in the US, I was enrolled in an engineering Physics class still carrying the burden of bad study habit from back home. I was working at a graveyard shift over the weekend and realized on a Sunday night that the work was due in less then ten hours. I attempted to do as many problems I can on sheets of letter sized papers taken straight out of the printer’s feeder slot at work. I did manage to finish some in their entirety, while for the others, I just jotted down some lines combined with Greek letters and numbers. After putting my name on the top right corner, I stapled the sheet of papers and turned them in the morning with a sense of relief of meeting the deadline.
Following Wed., as the teacher was handing back our graded papers by calling out the students’ last names, the professor commented, “Mr. Xxxxx, Take Pride In Your Work”, while handing me mine. I looked at the rest of the pile of homework that Mr. G was still holding in his hand. It was a bundle of neatly done, carefully bound, some with plastic transparencies showing printed cover page inside. Standing there with my sloppy bare-boned homework sheet, I was thoroughly embarrassed in front of my classmates still not realizing what the teacher alluding to.

It would take me a little longer to really grasp the concept of taking pride in ones work, or what kind of built-in ‘burden’ is involved in professionalism.
For most of us guys who came to overseas to seek better fortunes, I bet my experience is not a unique one.

At work, during the days when I’m overwhelmed and feel like that ingrained lazy monster creeping in, I try to remind myself of those powerful words of the best physics teacher I ever had.
I know, I know, it does sound more corny than the entire state of NebraskaJ.

Our boys who are raised to be polite and gentlemanly will probably need more time to unleash the beast within, not unlike their moniker: Gentle outside yet deadly in a fight.

I truly hope that I’m not coming across as some self-centered guy with a ‘better-than-though’ attitude who thinks he has got it all figured out. On the contrary, I’m probably one of most fallible being one would encounter.

BC had been an avenue where fans can speak their mind, air their grievances for the beloved Tigers.For me and maybe for most fans, it seems be a love hate relationship. Its like someone said, we know that our team will break our heart, we curse the day we fall in love with the Tigers, yet we can’t stay away.

Thank you also for bringing the issue socio-economic variance and its influence on players.

July 31, 2004, 07:41 AM
Great piece. Keep it up Flip. ALways interesting to hear a different angle other than the usual technical analysis.:)