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Old February 24, 2005, 02:55 AM
aosaif aosaif is offline
Test Cricketer
Join Date: July 20, 2004
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 1,200
Default \"The Inevitable Rise\" (by aosaif)

I hope you guys like this article that I wrote up in my spare time. I love this forum since it keeps me in touch with my first love - cricket, and by beloved desh. Please share your thoughts. You don't have to agree with my opinions, and I'd like to hear some of yours. I'm just trying to consolidate the position of our cricket at the moment. Desh Zindabad!

After the hype surrounding Bangladesh’s “umphing” 400 in the face of an experienced India bowling attack in it’s inaugural Test, the die-hard supporters of Tigercricket were made to endure years of disappointment, shattered hopes and endless nightmares. With hope rekindled with every series and with its eventual slaughter, like a lamb slain and left to bleed profusely on the side of a road as if the meat were not good enough, the dreams faded as the color of a painting that was once bright and full on one sunny day in November 2000.

For many years we have questioned our players’ commitment, their capabilities, their potential; questioning to the point where many of us believed that our country simply could not possibly produce competent cricketers. Alas, our genes are inferior!

With the coming of renowned coach, Dav Whatmore, the Bangladesh cricket fraternity received a shocking revelation that with belief and the human will, one could do almost anything. The players willed themselves to conquer, spurred on by the newfound ruthlessness instilled in them, bringing themselves to the edge of victory against Pakistan and showing up the Aussies in Cairns. All doubts about our capabilities were put to rest.

Now we, loyal fans of our cricket and our country, need to know where our team stands and where we need to go. Our intial goals were to qualify for the World Cup and when that happened, it was as if all our dreams had been fulfilled and it was time for rest. But as this elite international conference approached we began desiring victory and a piece of cricketing glory for our nation. We got that, and we were satisfied, and thought it would be enough for a while.

Fans did not demand Test status, but the Bangladesh Cricket Board knew that achievement of Test status would revolutionise the concept that is “Bangladesh.” When we began to smell test status, we were filled with a desire so awe-inspiring that we became blind to the need for real justification for gaining test status. With tremendous lobbying, our nation was thrust into a room of nine men in $1500 suits, gold chains and wrist-watches, smirking at the newest entrant, some shaking their heads, others appearing insipid.

And so it has always been. We were scared of dreaming, but then as we dared to do so we made things happen, always wondering how we would cope. With the recent victory over Zimbabwe, we are no longer the lowest ranked team in anyone’s right mind. Where do we go from here? Our A team dominates their Zimbabwean counterparts and our U-19 team continues to impress. The young guns in these teams will not make the national side for many years to come, and it is only when they grace international cricket with their presence that we will climb the ranks with speed. For now we have guys who have shown that they will one day be as well groomed as any international cricketer around the world. Mashrafe, Nafis Iqbal, Rajin, Aftab, Ashraful, Enamul jnr, Manjarul Rana, Nazmul, and a number of others will continue to improve over the next five years. In this time we may see our team’s ranking climb as these players become increasingly professional, consistent, confident and their skills honed. But they can only take us so far, and it will only be when young guys like Shahadat Hossain, Mushfiqur Rahim and Roquibul Hassan (obviously it is really too early to call) make it to the national team in 6-7 years time, when they have already been groomed to the level that our premier strike-bowler Mashrafe has not yet achieved, that our team will be ready to take on the likes of Australia in a fashion that will have tigerblood running hot through the veins of every Bangladeshi living. These new generation players will start their careers at a higher level of ability and learn and improve at a much faster rate than the ever-dependable Khaled Mashud could ever have hope to do. Australia’s Michael Clarke and India’s Mohammad Kaif are prime examples of players who are already capable to competing at the highest level from their first match.

So each one of us warriors, built of deshi sinew, fashioned according to deshi genes, trained to support till the end of every war, will be looking forward to continued improvement from Bashar & Co., while glancing back at the next generation of cubs being trained for the frontlines. We have a lot to hope for in terms of our cricket. If we perform competitively and with such a large fan-base, do you really think we will ever have sponsorship problems like the Windies or Zimbabwe? Surrounded by three established cricket-crazy powers how can we not improve? Did you see Manjarul leap into the air and actually roar like a tiger? Did you see Enamul begin a heated argument with Dion Ebrahim and throw the ball down in anger because the ball would not obey his desire to spin in an exact fashion? Did you see the short and stocky Rajin look at the tall frame of paceman Shabbir Ahmed of Pakistan squarely in the eyes and give him a piece of his mind that would make impress Glenn McGrath? Did you ever doubt the tigrish nature of our players? Maybe we were once lost, but now we know where we are, and we know where we will and must go.

Edited on, February 24, 2005, 8:30 AM GMT, by aosaif.

Edited on, February 24, 2005, 10:47 AM GMT, by aosaif.
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