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Old June 28, 2005, 10:29 AM
paco paco is offline
First Class Cricketer
Join Date: August 18, 2003
Posts: 497
Default Bye Bye Bangles

This was posted on rec.sport.cricket by an English fan. Fairly sobering, but I agree with most things he said.

p.s. - the Title is what he used.

If the Bangles manage to win on Thursday, the following may be torn
up, but since it's unlikely that I'll be able to post by then (because
I'm about to go on holiday to Europe until the Tests get underway in
order to avoid any more odos, 20-20s and Bob Willis), here's a
farewell for them.

They're still a useless Test team. They're complete crap against fast,
short-pitched bowling with a first-class style slip cordon. Tests
against them are a waste of time for their opponents, except in so far
as they afford an opportunity for players who've been out of form to
regain some confidence and rhythm. How much the Bangles themselves
benefit from such mismatches is extremely debatable.

That said, it's worth pointing out that they have three players of
comparable ability to Test players from other countries. OK, I haven't
seen the new WI keeper, but Khaled Mashud would be a certain pick for
me ahead of Courtney Browne or Dinesh Karthik, and I wouldn't complain
if he were picked ahead of Geraint Jones or Mark Boucher. Mohammed
Rafique would be extremely useful to WI who don't have a decent
spinner of any description, South Africa would improve their team by
replacing Nicky Boje with him, and he'd make a much more convincing
backup spinner for England than Batty. I'd also guess that several
Test teams could find something useful for Mortaza to do.

But they will remember this tour for their odos, or, to be more
realistic, THAT odo. Having won a game against Pak which lots of
people think was fixed and one against an emerging players XI billed
as "India", they finally notched up a genuine odo win against a
full-strength side - and it happened to be the world champs. Cool.
Ashraful has been seriously impressive and Aftab Ahmed Chowdhury looks
like he's got the goods, and with the three mentioned before there's
the nucleus of a decent side. Since the two batsmen are only 19 or 20,
they have every chance of learning to play the longer form well too in

The effect of THAT odo is significant. From now on, no team will make
any more concession to the Bangles than to rest a senior bowler who
needs to conserve his energy for a stiffer game in two days' time.
Nobody else will want to get caught napping as Australia were.

The other two mentionable players they currently have are Habitual
Basher and Javed Belim. From what I've seen of them on this tour,
neither of them are really international class players. But, several
counties or States could find a berth for Javed Belim if they are in
need of a plodding opener for four-day cricket and a lot would be
quite happy to have Bashar in their dodo teams. The rest of the squad
are far too young and inexperienced to be worth talking about.

In my view, this tour has enhanced Bangladesh's reputation. There are
obvious signs of progress, especially in the one-day arena, and some
players of significance are emerging and performing fairly regularly.
Given that the median age of the team is 21, there's considerable
scope for improvement over the next few years. Although they aren't as
good as Sri Lanka were at the same stage of their international
career, I think we can at least see that they will eventually be a
competitive side just as Sri Lanka became.

To their credit, they've borne their thrashings fairly bravely and
have made the right noises about being disappointed with their own
performances and resolved to do better next time - and even in the
Tests it was noticeable that they were beginning to learn to try and
hang around instead of knocking the cover off every ball, so they are
advancing incrementally.

So, thanks to Bangladesh for coming. With the constraints of the ICC's
Future Tours programme relaxed now, they probably won't be back for
about six or seven years, by which time it might well be worth a lot
more people's while than this series was for England.
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