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Old July 1, 2005, 01:50 PM
Konka33 Konka33 is offline
Club Cricketer
Join Date: June 11, 2005
Posts: 64
Default Let\'s take it from here

Let's take it from here
Rabeed Imam

Some eight weeks ago, the Bangladesh team landed at London's Heathrow Airport understandably without the buzz that usually surrounds the arrival of a touring team.
Of course the odd TV crew had turned up, presumably more out of a sense of duty rather than interest, and there were a few Deshi faces assembled, courtesy of an initiative by the High Commission, to greet the Tigers. That was as 'high profile' as the welcome part got and the entry could not conjure up enough weight to sneak into the country's top newspapers.

Given the British media's mood preceding the series, the reception was hardly surprising. If ever a touring team had been made to feel unwelcome in England, it was Bangladesh and ex-cricketers-turned columnists, cricket writers, experts were dishing out pages full of intense dislike for the newest Test nation. One wonders where they got the time and energy as in their very own words the season did not start before the Ashes and yet they were prepared to attack the Tigers.

Then the Australian great Richie Benaud, one of the most respected commentators, let fly his opinion that Bangladesh should be kicked out of the Test family and compatriot Shane Warne, a living legend, followed suit although what business they had in dissecting Bangladesh's cricket even before a single ball had been bowled in the series is anybody's guess.

So Bangladesh knew they had to confront enemies on and off the field, a task they did not quite get a hang of until Day Two of the second and final Test. But after the two-and a quarter-day surrender at Lord's, the daredevil 82 not out from Aftab Ahmed provided England with the first real glimpse into the ability of a side keen to impress.

With the ignominy of a two-day finish hanging over them, Bangladesh played their natural game, the uninhibited game. Suddenly Hoggard, Harmison, Jones, Flintoff were no longer the irresistible force and the belief was back. Significantly, the weather had also changed at Durham when Bangladesh were scoring at almost five-an-over. The sun had come out and the pitch had lost all its seaming trickery. The best period to play cricket in England was just beginning and the Bangladesh players must have wondered why they had been invited at the wrong time. The answer, if you are Bangladesh be prepared to get raw deals.

"We have to accept it if the cricket authorities of a country invite us at their preferred time. We are still not in a position to choose or call for changes in schedules. We are the ones asking for tours, it is not the other way round," said a Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) official.

Nevertheless, Bangladesh took the confidence from Durham into the NatWest tri-series and enjoyed their fare share of moments of absolute dominance over both England and Australia, none more than the now legendary magical five-wicket triumph against the world champions at Sophia Gardens in Cardiff. And after another fine display to round the trip off at Canterbury where they first fought back and then pushed Australia all the way, the Tigers have ensured that a few things will thankfully not revisit our cricket again.

Opposing teams will no longer go into ODIs with Bangladesh with the slightest feeling of eventuality. Our Test status, so often a topic of disgust which bordered on hatred at times in the international media, will not be questioned with half the ferocity of the recent past. Rest assured about it. For indication, just go back a couple of days and re-run what the ICC president had said to a murmuring quarry about Bangladesh's Test status. In time the anti-Bangladesh calls will peter out into whispers that will interest none.

But this is also time to build in on the gains from the England tour without getting carried away with the relative yet significant successes because questions remain.

Will Mohammad Ashraful carry on with the same gung-ho approach that will never justify his talent? What will happen to Shahadat Hossain Rajib who has been described by a coach as a confused wreck at the moment who does not remember what his action and run-up was like before he made it to the main team. His pace is nowhere close to where it was two months ago and the mauling at Lord's has shattered his confidence. What about Nafees Iqbal? Hero against Zimbabwe but now without a place in the starting team. Why did the bowling, a matter of pride, never fire with the exception of Mashrafee-bin- Mortuza? And when will all those with amazing abilities believe in pursuing the same work ethic of their less talented yet more reassuring mates like Shahriar Nafees Ahmed or Javed Omar?

Having rattled the best to a fair degree, Bangladesh now have a golden opportunity for scaring the living daylights out of Sri Lanka, their next opponents. Pray that the hangover from England stays till September.

Source: DS July 2

Ahh.......feels so good. Where are u Mr Warne? But as the man said, let's not get carried away. Let's preapare for a Lankan conquest. You can do it Tigers...GO
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