Originally Posted by al Furqaan
Welcome back Pathan bhai. Hope you can get your compatriots to sign up and engage in some good banter and [healthy] trash talking before the two world cup openers between our brotherly nations!
As a generalized fan of Associate cricket - we can't forget we were Associates not so long ago - I support all Associate nations that show aptitude and have native player bases. The only exception to that rule being the USA, who I support by birthright (strange cuz I don't give a crap about USA soccer). Thus, I support Ireland, Afghanistan, and now Nepal but not the UAE or Hong Kong or Netherlands. I also find Zimbabwe annoying due to the way in which they constantly lose their top players as a full strength ZIM side would easily be as good as us, and quite possibly a touch better. One of the things I hope happens in my lifetime is that Ireland, Afghanistan, and Nepal attain Test status with Zimbabwe getting their act together. If the ICC has anything less than 12 Test nations by the year 2100 it has royally failed in its global mission.
That being said, Ireland and Afghanistan are still at least a notch behind us. That doesn't mean they're far behind however. But I think in the game's longest format at least, Afghanistan would find us as tough an opponent as we would find India. In ODIs and T20s, Afghanistan has more than a fighting shot at taking us down, and I think Bangladesh fans should embrace that competitiveness.
Now I admit I haven't seen Afghanistan all that much, but my assessment is that AFG's batting is their weakness and the bowling isn't as strong as people make it out to be. "AFG has better pacers than Bangladesh" is something we often here, even from ourselves. I think thats is not accurate. You have one pacer that is as good as our best seamers in Hamid Hassan. The Zadrans and others are good at the Associate level, but Test level is something else altogether.
AFG's batting is also too prone to collapses, even at Associate level to warrant even a casual worry to Test sides.
All that being said, AFG have definitely done far more with way less than Bangladesh did, and it is not implausible that AFG could even be the better team 20 years from now. AFG has raw athleticism that PAK, IND, BD cannot match and play exciting cricket. Their rate of development has also been way faster than ours. Exciting times await.
I also hope the BCB engages more with CI and the ACB to organize more matches especially since the major powers of cricket don't see us as lucrative enough draws.
Thank you Furqaan Bhai, you are spot on in many things you've written.
I'm looking very forward for the clash between our teams at same time am very sad for the fact that one of us has to leave the tournament so early on. They should have made 4 groups of 4.
I understand how hard it must be to be a BD fan these days, if you beat us they'll say that's nothing, you are a test team, you were expected to beat them. If you lose they'll say you lost to an associate.
The disadvantage for you guys against us is that we've plenty of hitters, if it clicks for just two of our big guns we'll be able to post a decent target.
Our bowling is our strength, though Hamid is our star he hasn't been playing much cricket in the past 2 years due to injuries. I must say I agree with those who say our pace is better than yours. We've a very balanced bowling unit we've plenty of pacers more coming up through our youth ranks, we've an ok spin attack with both leg break and off spin etc., but it is nothing compared to yours
Our batting is our headache, though it could be solved to some extent by replacing the tennis ball seniors with some of the youth players that have come up through our domestic system. But I doubt it'll happen anytime before 2015 OD World Cup.
We are a decent team at 5 days cricket thanks to our bowling, we've haven't lost any match so far. But as you pointed it hasn't been tested on others than Zim, who played us in our maiden first-class game and escaped with a draw.
I hope your board accepts our requests. Personally I say to the hell with what others may think as long as it can benefit our teams. I'm for extending cricket world wide and I think even UAE and Hong Kong deserves chances, as the guys representing them are now living there.