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  #1  
Old March 6, 2011, 05:18 AM
DaFan DaFan is offline
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Default Black Friday

‘Black Friday’: the PR disaster

Khademul Islam

March is the cruellest month for us all. March 1971, and now March 2011, the first a hurling into the Hall of Terror and now a permanent place in The Hall of Shame. ‘Black Friday’, it has been dubbed by some of our newspapers.

Public perception of the Bangladesh-West Indies match is at odds with the soothing versions – it’s just a game, there will be haar jeets, let’s now all calm down – being propagated by various well-intentioned levels of the television and the written sports commentariat.

The anger that boiled over after the match on the streets is not an isolated, one-match explosion. It was seething for a long time, and the tipping point came with Friday’s disastrous performance. What has happened is not only a specific game-match disaster – with Bangladesh now quite out of the quarter final race, let’s not kid ourselves about it! – but also a public relations disaster for the Bangladesh Cricket Board, the selection committee and the coaching team – in short, the whole cricketing Establishment. Along with captain Shakib Al Hasan, they are the real targets of public fury.

An example of the public relations disaster would be the pre-match interview given by the Bangladesh bowling coach, Ian Pont, for the benefit of the ESPN discussion panel of Harsha Bhogle, Navjot Singh Siddhu and Pat Symcox, the South African ex-Test player. Ian gave away the Bangladesh strategy for getting into the quarter finals by acknowledging that they had given up on the two end-bracketed games with South Africa and England as basically unwinnable. This public acknowledgement of defeat left Pat open-mouthed in astonishment: how can you tell your players they can’t win against England and South Africa! What kind of a strategy is this? You’ve already adopted a defeatist mentality. Pat then dismissed Ian as somebody who had no real experience of international cricket, somebody who was just a county cricketer. And along with Pat every Bangladeshi fan who was listening in was also left feeling confounded.

A PR disaster, for the Bangladeshi bowling coach to be publicly scolded by a reputed panel discussant.

But the real public relations disaster has been the failure of the Bangladeshi cricket establishment to dispel the widespread public perception that the country’s most popular cricketer, the fast bowler and ex-captain Mashrafe Bin Mortaza, has been hard done by. This was the bowler, after all, who blew off Sehwag’s wickets in the momentous defeat of India by Bangladesh in the 2007 World Cup. Mashrafe was not selected for the tri-nations tournament in January 2010, and then lost his captaincy. The reason given was injury, but the way he has been sidelined, without dignity in the process, had raised temperatures among Bangladeshi cricket fans. And to top it all, he was dropped from the World Cup 15-member squad. That did not sit well with fans. Especially, when Mashrafe has publicly countered the official reason of injury by saying that he’s fit. There were demonstrations in Narail, his home town, and deep rumblings from the fans. My driver, the guards at my office, my housemaid’s husband, all told me that this was part of a deep ‘conspiracy’ – a conspiracy hatched to keep Shakib Al Hasan as captain. And indeed, there are some manoeuvring, some finessing in that whole allegation.
But far more important is that the Bangladesh Cricket Board did nothing to counter such a public perception.

This was some of the tinder that lit the explosion on Friday.

The coach and the selection committee have also been the targets of public discontent. There were rumblings among the public and some of the commentariat from the time the World Cup squad was named that were not answered by the Board and its many minions: why were, for example, Shahriar Nafees and Alok Kapali out of the squad? It has long seemed to the fans that the selection committee and a coaching team led by Jamie Siddons had ditched all experienced old hands – with the miserable exception of Ashraful – for the sake of ‘fresh talent’ and ‘young blood’ . When there are fair winds, young talent and fresh blood is fine, but when one runs into severe gale winds then young talent panics and goes down. The latter qualities fail miserably when a cricket team is sinking and experienced hands are needed to save the ship.

Which is what happened in that match, what underlies all the questioning of match temperament that was lacking in the team’s performance. When things are going well, when Bangladesh retrieves a match from Ireland’s grasp, the nay-sayers and conspiracy theorists shut up. But stories and rumours nevertheless keep on rumbling on beneath, and the moment the cracks in the building showed up badly, immediately the construction firm and the superintendent were hauled up before the court of public enquiry for an answer. In that atmosphere all the conspiracy theories (and Bangladesh, used to hearing about ‘conspiracies’ left and right from their leaders, love a conspiracy theory!) immediately boiled up: what was Ashraful doing in the team? Where were the experienced, mature hands?

Not much more was needed to light the fire…

Other stories had also proliferated. That the Bangladesh Cricket Board was run in an autocratic manner where the one-eyed man was king. Examples were the departure of administrators like Khaled Mahmud and Shakil Kasem. Where was the reassuring hand of a Saber Chowdhury?
And the picture that emerged slowly of the Board was of an regime heedless of fan wishes, pushing its own agenda, with good men leaving, a selection team that persisted with its own choices, a regime that had no Plan B, which had ditched the national agenda for its own, and which had gratuitously insulted its most popular member, the pace bowler that had taken Virender Sehwag’s wicket in the previous World Cup’s defeat of India by Bangladesh. Why? And why Imrul Quayes and not Shahriar Nafees, and Alok Kapali?

These are not idle questions. These are the rumblings that were heard for days before Bangladesh’s team imploded in so humiliating a manner that ‘Black Friday’. And while there may or may not be truth to all this, there is no doubt that all this could have been countered more effectively had Bangladesh’s cricket Establishment taken steps to justify its actions and not have been seen to be high-handed, isolated from its fan base, and insensitive to its gripes.
So the dominant lesson is to heed the fans! Listen to them, talk to them, and explain your actions. And most of all do not seem to be insulting their darlings!

Next time, they may want to storm the Bastille, and then watch out!

http://opinion.bdnews24.com/2011/03/...e-pr-disaster/
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  #2  
Old March 6, 2011, 05:20 AM
DaFan DaFan is offline
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Quote:
An example of the public relations disaster would be the pre-match interview given by the Bangladesh bowling coach, Ian Pont, for the benefit of the ESPN discussion panel of Harsha Bhogle, Navjot Singh Siddhu and Pat Symcox, the South African ex-Test player. Ian gave away the Bangladesh strategy for getting into the quarter finals by acknowledging that they had given up on the two end-bracketed games with South Africa and England as basically unwinnable. This public acknowledgement of defeat left Pat open-mouthed in astonishment: how can you tell your players they can’t win against England and South Africa! What kind of a strategy is this? You’ve already adopted a defeatist mentality. Pat then dismissed Ian as somebody who had no real experience of international cricket, somebody who was just a county cricketer. And along with Pat every Bangladeshi fan who was listening in was also left feeling confounded.

A PR disaster, for the Bangladeshi bowling coach to be publicly scolded by a reputed panel discussant.
Is this true? I never saw the interview.
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  #3  
Old March 6, 2011, 07:37 AM
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Bancan Bancan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaFan
Is this true? I never saw the interview.
The bolded part in your interview is true. Pont said it during his pre game interview.
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  #4  
Old March 6, 2011, 07:42 AM
DaFan DaFan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bancan
The bolded part in your interview is true. Pont said it during his pre game interview.
yes saw this in another thread. I think BCB or the management now needs to come out and give a press conference to calm everything down. It will be best if things comes from their mouth rather than from questionable sources. Everyone is in the edge now.

more on this in this thread. http://www.banglacricket.com/alochon...ad.php?t=36298

Last edited by DaFan; March 6, 2011 at 08:00 AM..
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  #5  
Old March 6, 2011, 05:54 AM
deshprem deshprem is offline
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this is all rubbish. the coachign staff would be the last to give up hope. especially ian pont who himself took upon the initiative of offering never ending support.

utter rubbish.
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  #6  
Old March 6, 2011, 06:07 AM
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kalpurush kalpurush is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deshprem
this is all rubbish. the coachign staff would be the last to give up hope. especially ian pont who himself took upon the initiative of offering never ending support.

utter rubbish.
^^^ Please verify if the news is true or not, don't jump on the gun yet.
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  #7  
Old March 6, 2011, 06:14 AM
amar11432 amar11432 is offline
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Too many controversies for us in this World Cup. I thought that was Pakistan's job.
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  #8  
Old March 6, 2011, 07:10 AM
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catstrophy catstrophy is offline
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To be honest, this article does not do anything for me. Utter rubbish, if I may. I just want to know if Ian Pont did go into a pre match conference and say what the writer is saying he said.
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  #9  
Old March 6, 2011, 07:10 AM
deshprem deshprem is offline
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this newspaper is all opinion. it says it right there. if it were true, it wouldve been on cricinfo. but yeh im looking for the verification, but i'll still believe its rubbish until there is verification. I have asked ian himself in the thread. we might get a verification.,
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  #10  
Old March 6, 2011, 07:38 AM
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dhur bhal lagena,
let the next Friday come,we will see what happens.
As our captain said,"shonge thakun,dekha jak ki hoy!"
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  #11  
Old March 6, 2011, 07:50 AM
amar11432 amar11432 is offline
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Oh boy
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  #12  
Old March 6, 2011, 07:53 AM
Zunaid Zunaid is offline
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daFan - you have quoted me from a different thread on a different "news" article. Please do not do so. Your quote implies that my response was to this news item - it wasn't. I haven't responded in yhis thread. This is not proper behavior.
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  #13  
Old March 6, 2011, 07:59 AM
DaFan DaFan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zunaid
daFan - you have quoted me from a different thread on a different "news" article. Please do not do so. Your quote implies that my response was to this news item - it wasn't. I haven't responded in yhis thread. This is not proper behavior.
Sorry, I didn't know that was not allowed. I will edit my post where I quoted you.
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  #14  
Old March 6, 2011, 08:01 AM
Zunaid Zunaid is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaFan
Sorry, I didn't know that was not allowed. I will edit my post where I quoted you.
It is not about being allowed. It is not good netiquette. It is like putting words into my mouth that I did bit say.
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Old March 7, 2011, 04:20 AM
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tail-ender tail-ender is offline
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i watched the pont interview which was taken on thursday,day before the game.i didnt like the negative attitude..we may target some teams more than others but should we disclose that in front of the media?

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Old March 7, 2011, 06:59 AM
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Ian Pont Ian Pont is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tail-ender
i watched the pont interview which was taken on thursday,day before the game.i didnt like the negative attitude..we may target some teams more than others but should we disclose that in front of the media?

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And you will discover I said our aim was to beat the weaker teams in our group (no shock there) and get the eight points we needed to outright qualify from the middle four matches without having to beat India or SA. Even someone with NO KNOWLEDGE of cricket strategy can work that one out. This is not a 'secret'. Who would think this was?

Do you REALLY think those four teams (Ireland, WI, England, NL) were going to say "Guess what.. I think Bangladesh are trying to beat us?" Get realistic! Everyone targets the weaker teams as 'banker' points.

Plus, we had already lost to India badly.. so that match had gone... and the SA match, if we won the 4 matches in the middle, wouldn't be important so we could discount it. That was why I spoke about the India and SA matches the way I did. (and not ENGLAND match, as the poster of this thread claimed, and what he claimed was said on that TV programme). Yet another example of inaccurate reporting that seems to be appearing at the WC currently.

I almost didn't want to comment on this as it was so ridiculous. And I wish we weren't wasting our time with such stupidity when we have more important things to focus on.

There is far too much rubbish being spoken by media people and poor reporting and interpretation of cricket understanding. Please guys, don't get sucked in by TV pundits who have never coached and some of whom have never been involved in a World Cup before. Let alone planned for one. This is my THIRD world cup as a coach by way of contrast.

We have a game to win on Friday against England. The boys are practicing hard and we know we can win it. We also plan to carry that on to beat the Dutch. This would give us 6 points and all come down to run rates and the points against SA. If we can rescue our run rate with some big wins then we may not have to beat SA. Results by others become important, too.

But the fact still remains that if we win 4 matches in our group, we will be in the QF. That has always been the case. We saw that SA are beatable, and we have seen England are too. No coach would ever say we cannot beat a team. We might be unlikely to win a certain match (against all odds) but that doesn't mean we cannot win every match we play. Ireland has the same approach. So does the West Indies.

I am the MOST POSITIVE COACH when it comes to belief in what we are capable of in BD. The 58 all out hasn't shaken MY resolve and belief in the players we have. Everyone is preparing for a win against England. And then we take each match as it comes.
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Last edited by Ian Pont; March 7, 2011 at 08:05 AM..
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  #17  
Old March 7, 2011, 08:06 AM
deshprem deshprem is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian Pont
And you will discover I said our aim was to beat the weaker teams in our group (no shock there) and get the eight points we needed to outright qualify from the middle four matches without having to beat India or SA. Even someone with NO KNOWLEDGE of cricket strategy can work that one out. This is not a 'secret'. hahahhaha

Do you REALLY think those four teams (Ireland, WI, England, NL) were going to say "Guess what.. I think Bangladesh are trying to beat us?" Get realistic! Everyone targets the weaker teams as 'banker' points.

Plus, we had already lost to India badly.. so that match had gone... and the SA match, if we won the 4 matches in the middle, wouldn't be important so we could discount it. That was why I spoke about the India and SA matches the way I did. (and not ENGLAND match, as the poster of this thread claimed, and what he claimed was said on that TV programme).

There is far too much rubbish being spoken at the moment by media people and poor reporting and interpretation of cricket understanding. Please guys, don't get sucked in by TV pundits who have never coached and some of whom have never been involved in a World Cup before. Let alone planned for one. This is my THIRD world cup as a coach.

We have a game to win on Friday against England. The boys are practicing hard and we feel we can win it. We also plan to carry that on to beat the Dutch. This would give us 6 points and all come down to run rates and the points against SA. If we can rescue our run rate with some big wins then we may not have to beat SA. Results by others become important, too.

But the fact still remains that if we win 4 matches in our group, we will be in the QF. That has always been the case. We saw that SA are beatable, and we have seen England are too. No coach would ever say we cannot beat a team. We might be unlikely to win a certain match (against all odds) but that doesn't mean we cannot win every match we play. Ireland has the same approach. So does the West Indies.

I am the MOST POSITIVE COACH when it comes to belief in what we are capable of. The 58 all out hasn't shaken my resolve and belief in the players we have. Everyone is preparing for a win against England. And then we take each match as it comes.
Trusted you all along Ian. Thanks for everything .

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