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Old February 25, 2010, 10:54 AM
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fwullah fwullah is offline
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Originally Posted by RazabQ

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.
What does the future hold?

Agree with Razabq.

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

Agree with Razabq on "born" into Test-hood thing and a few other points in the answer to this question. But I have some more points to add. There will always be a few future stars who will always be good enough for World Cricket. However, I have doubt whether the average age of the Bangladesh players will ever be over 30, and this is a major cause for our downfall in Test match cricket. As long as our first class structure does not improve, we will never be able to produce a player, a batsman with the ability or patience to bat and actually draw a test match.

To find out the cause behind this, looking at only last 10 years' performance will not do. You have to look at where our cricket was at the Associate level. Even back in 1990s, and perhaps from end of 1980s, we used to play lots of 50-over matches in our domestic cricket per single domestic calendar. The current stars of Bangladesh National Team is just the result of getting the infrastructure right for One-Day cricket. And of course, their technique and confidence is the result of playing test cricket in the last 10 years and results of our improvement in the age-level cricket. After all, most of the current stars came through directly to the national team from the age-group level.

In future, if for example, only T-20 cricket and Test cricket survives, then our future will be doomed. Because we have to start everything from all over again.

I assume cricket remains the most popular sport in the country.

Agree with Razabq. However, there's one catch. Since cricket is the most dominating sports in terms of encouraging kids by their parents, many kids play just cricket and other sports is sometimes totally ignored, which is sometimes a disadvantage for any national cricketer.

Are facilities at the clubs good?

Same answer - Sadly no. In order to describe the reason behind this, we have to go to a whole new topic. Will discuss that later.

Are youngsters from all backgrounds encouraged to play the game?

Agreed. More points to add in short: Yet to hear another Rafique-like story. Also, I'm not sure if we have been able to reach out to the kids in villages who have not passed primary education level in schools - to actually become a national team player. But I'm sure we will be able to reach out to them soon, given the World Cup being staged in Bangladesh, and the number of years we're able to participate in World Cups in the future.

Perhaps there's a young boy around somewhere who is finding it difficult to get the bread and butter for a single day, and yet, he dreams of winning the World Cup for Bangladesh someday.

How much funding is there to enable the most talented young players to reach the top?

This is again a very big topic. Let me start by saying the following. It needs an expert eye to find out the most talented young players in age-level cricket. Since most of our administrators / selectors have not played Test cricket themselves, so it is a bit difficult for them to find out the most talented players with a naked eye; there also may be some confusion among the former cricketers and the Board, too. I mean, I don't see former cricketers who are not yet part of the Board or are not already working for the Board in some way or another, getting any chance to meet up with the Board members or the selectors to say, hey, I just saw this young anonymous kid and he's really good. There is CWAB - an association for cricket players, which is some way doing this job, from where Shafiul Islam has been found by the selectors, and is already in the national team, but the recent conflict between CWAB and BCB has raised many eyebrows among the communication gap between the Board members and the CWAB members.

In addition, we are yet to see a cricket organizer coming up and making a name for himself who has been encouraged by our gaining of Test status in the last 10 years of Test cricket. Somebody, for example, like the organizer of 'Nirman School Cricket'. I forgot his name, but I am sure many fans here can remind me. Nirman School Cricket was (Yes, was, its not functioning anymore) the largest and the most successful national young cricketer-producer and many former national players have started playing cricket through Nirman School Cricket. This is a failure on the part of Bangladesh that after elimination of such a large and such a successful cricketer-producer organization no such massive organization has come across in helping identifying cricketers and help them reach the top.

Having said that, there are many cricket coaching schools and academies turning up everywhere around the country founded by many cricketer organizers and both former test and former-non test cricketers. But none of them are yet to make a big name as the Nirman School Cricket, yet.

Also, one has to look at the age-level of the former test cricketers, I mean the names Akram Khan, Enamul Haque, Naimur Rahman, Aminul Islam Bulbul - who played in the First Test match against India, have only started their career at the organizer/management level just now. Akram Khan has been a national selector, Enamul Haque is an umpire, Naimur Rahman is the president of CWAB, Aminul Islam is also coach at some level for BCB, Minhazul Abedin, who was part of the World Cup 1999 squad for Bangladesh, is now the coach of the BD 'A' team / BCB XI team right now. Atahar Ali Khan is a commentator and used to be a selector.

About the funding part of the question - I believe BCB is yet to find a CEO after Macky Dudhia left and a CFO who are willing to work for themselves. Also, I am not sure if a financial statement is prepared for throughout the year; or whether the general public know how the funding (from sponsorship, gate money etc.) of the BCB is spent and at which areas. So, there's a big gap somewhere. Also, the general opinion of us fans is that most of this funding goes into the pocket of the BCB's most influential people. So, there's a big lack of transparency there.

enough being done, whether by the BCB, the ICC or anyone else to invest in the future of Bangladesh
Agree - Nope.
I wish we could beat Australia in a Test Match!

Last edited by fwullah; February 25, 2010 at 01:26 PM.. Reason: Continuation ...
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