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Old February 23, 2010, 06:33 PM
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RazabQ RazabQ is offline
BC Editorial Team
Join Date: February 25, 2004
Location: Fremont CA
Posts: 11,824


Here's one arm-chair all-rounder's take:

What does the future hold?

I think Bangladesh has the wherewithals to be a mid-range power with the occasional season on top. We will never have the money, talent-pool or first-class infrastructure of an India, Australia or England but given the enthusiasm for the sport I can see us easily being consistently the #4 or #5 side in cricket.

Who are the future stars and what makes them so good?

My theory on future stars is that we are already seeing them. The likes of Tamim, Shakib, Mushy, Rubel will carry the flame for us. The main reason is their mental maturity. They are the first generation of cricketers who were "born" into Test-hood in that BD was already a Test playing country in their formative years; years that should continue for 3-4 more years given their youth. As such they are more able to handle the mental demands placed of an international player. Think about it ... On the batting front our top-order still implodes every so often. We still have the one innings of brain-farts. Yet this present side, more often than not, still comes up with a respectable total. Would you have expected that of the Bangladesh side from 5-6 years ago when the Bashars/Rafiques/Pilots were at their pomp? Look at the century conversion rates of late.

In terms of bowling, while we are incapable of taking 20 wickets on flat surfaces, give this present group some helpful conditions and they _will_ put you under pressure. Look at the number of pheiffer takers we have these days.

All this is proof that this present group has what it takes to be future stars. No doubt we will have a few more come up from the youth ranks. There is this leggie in the U-19 side who seemed to bamboozle your boys during the tour last year - I have high hopes for him.

I assume cricket remains the most popular sport in the country.
Yes, though soccer is making a much-needed comeback. Best sporting nations are where the young people play sports all-year round. At a young age one should be playing lots of different sports to foster athletism. As long as Cricket remains the only sport where we are world-class, it will remain numero uno.

Are facilities at the clubs good?
Sadly no. The local clubs still practice on concrete pitches and in the cities there is a major shortage of greens.

Are youngsters from all backgrounds encouraged to play the game?
Yup. Again, to borrow a line from Shakib who switched from soccer/footy, cricket is the one sport where a young boy or girl can aspire to play a world cup match. So definitely more encouragement - also parents are less likely to resist on grounds of education. Cricket is seen by many as a viable profession.

How much funding is there to enable the most talented young players to reach the top?
Can't comment on this. Perhaps Miraz?

Is enough being done, whether by the BCB, the ICC or anyone else to invest in the future of Bangladesh cricket.
Nope. We need a fully professional BCB and as long as political appointees dominate, it will continue to be a start/stop affair. We also the Indian board to be better stewards of the game. The top two first class sides should be invited to perform in an Indian first class tourney, with perhaps top sides from Pakistan and Sri Lanka invited as well. We need way way more A-tours for closing the gap between our feeble first class standards and the big leagues.
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