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Old July 21, 2004, 07:13 PM
DJ Sahastra DJ Sahastra is offline
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I have been observing Bangladesh team for a few years now, as a supporter, asa critique and as a hopeful, and contrary to what people here have to say, i believe that the crux of Bangladesh teams problem today is not lack of talent or quality players but the jinx that surrounds the team.

It is THAT one session of slip, or call it of hostile bowling by the opponents in the first test vs India when they collapsed from position of strength to abject surrender. Many a times i think that if that one session could be scripted differently, Bangladesh would be a different team today.

It is that one session of slip, or call it a resolute batting by by an opposition batsmen, when against the Pakistan team they had a chance to rewrite the above a good 4 years later. Knocking at the doorsteps of the ever elusive first test win, they thought ,and they had, actually done everything to deserve a win only to be denied by a certain Mr. Inzamam Ul-Haq.

I feel that history has been cruel to Bangladesh in many ways, and the above test-match was just another episode in that cruelty list. I again feel that team Bangaldesh would've been much different had Inzamam not messed with the script of that one test.

Moving on, everytime i watch bangladesh team play, i feel sad. Cos, like Indian and Pakistanis, Bangladeshis too are passionate supporters of their team. I somehow try to tell myself everytime that Bangladesh team would live up to the expectation of it's supporters today. It did, during that one test in Windies, it did during that stunning Victory over Pakistan in World Cup, but in between, it has been a sorry tale of abject surrender to even lowly teams like Kenya and Canada who are not in the same elite league as Bangladesh.

Every time Bangladesh team plays, there is one corner of my heart that says they might, they just might, do it today. Another skeptical, and now dominantly skeptical corner points at sheer hopelessness.

In my opinuion, what Bangladesh team needs today is NOT exposure to more teams, more tournaments and all, but exposure to more wins. With every defeat, the team is plunging deeper and deeper into loss of confidence in it's own abilities, loss of form, loss of quality players, and most importantly, loss of supporters. I read quite a few post on this forum and felt sad at the level of fristration, disappointment and resignation of some very passionate Bengali crowd. And no country, and no fan and no supporters deserves that.

Coming back to the "win" factor and the strategy by Bangladesh Cricket Board, i think they should take a break from tournaments involving the major teams and should instead organise some home series against teams like Zimbabwe, Kenya, Canada and all. The tonic that Bangladesh team needs desperately today is of breaking the jinx, of winning a few ODIs and tests and of regaining some self-belief. While some may say doubt the role of victory against weak teams and some may agree, and i have nothing against either. I just feel that playing and losing without a fight to the teams that have developed over the years is affecting the Bangladesh cricket in negative way. Some may argue on the point that playing against major teams is providing a good exposure. I would say that after playing 90+ ODIs and 25+ tests, exposure is hardly something that Bangladesh team is in desperate need of.

Victor, it surely is.
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Old July 21, 2004, 07:30 PM
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Mahmood Mahmood is offline
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Welcome aboard.

Very good article indeed.

Here is what I feel. The current stars of the BD team is pretty much raw talent. They are not brought up as cricketers. We still have first generation cricket players. Even Kapali, Masri or Ash did not get that much training or grow up through top level training.

If you look at our U-19 team, there is future, hope. Dhiman, Aftab, Nafis, Nafees... These kids are brought up with lot more training than the current players. In 2-3 more years, they will compete in the national level. They will definitly play better than our current team. McInnes alone will make a huge difference to these kids, the prior U-19 teams had no such level coaching. Not to mention, we already beat the Australia U-19 team in the Plate final recently.

Imagine how competitive we will be when our U-17 or U-15 boys kick in? You have to give a test nation at least 10 years to mature, so hang tight, good days are coming.
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Old July 21, 2004, 07:59 PM
oracle oracle is offline
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With every defeat, the team is plunging deeper and deeper into loss of confidence in it's own abilities, loss of form, loss of quality players, and most importantly, loss of supporters
Overall I enjoyed your piece and would'nt mind seeing it as frontpage, but I disagree with your above statement, and quite vehemently. If you have been to Bangladesh you will see for yourself the level of enthusiasm for the game.Its support despite all the losses, and the trickle of talents, that promises to be a flood in the near future, speaks volumes about the tenacity of the sport in the country.
welcome to Banglacricket.
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Old July 21, 2004, 08:44 PM
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Piranha Piranha is offline
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Good article DJ Sahastra. I also disagree with your conclusion. I think playing more test teams is the way to go. We have come close to victory several times, its only a matter of time before we win another major game.

That would give us the much needed tonic.
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Old July 21, 2004, 09:50 PM
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al Furqaan al Furqaan is offline
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we did beat HK and beat them good, i too think that its a matter of time...i truly think that dhiman, nafis, nafees, aftab, and enamul jr. will lead us to international glory...in the meantime my hope is that ash, rajin, masri and co. gain the same level as the u-19s thru their international experience.
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Old July 22, 2004, 08:19 AM
the_wall the_wall is offline
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I agree with Dj when it comes to the fact that Bangladesh has suffered loss of confidence with every defeat. But this loss of confidence waz a situation that existed a year or two ago because they were being BADLY beaten in each and every match. Today however this is not the case. They have started to run big teams close. And this in turn is working as a confidence booster. They feel that victories are close by. As Dav Whatmore has consistently said in interviews it is just the last push that is required. Today Bangladesh are in the right mood to move front and win against big teams.

And now because they are running bigger teams closer they would really gain no confidence by playing against Zimbabwe( nation who has lost all its major players and probably are far more weaker than bangladesh) or canada nor kenya (although they haven beaten kenya consistently).

Quality would not better as they would not need high quality performances to beat such teams.

Let us just see it from a fan point of veiw. We did not have any REAL BOOST in confidence when we beat HK as we knew we could crush them bad. Confidence increased when we ran WI close, Pakistan close. winor lose we really felt good. Winning against non testplaying nations would not give us the same joy let alone the players.

So I think we are better of playing against better teams than just playing against what in bangla we call Tukka teams.
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Old July 22, 2004, 02:49 PM
Cricket46 Cricket46 is offline
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Very nice piece DJ.

However, I do not think winning against teams like Canada, Kenya would improve our international standing. It is doubly risky, because losing against such teams would be disastrous We still recall the pain of losing to Canada in the last World Cup.

Our win against a full-strength Zimbabawe and near wins against them and Pakistan and West Indies makes more people count us.
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Old July 22, 2004, 03:09 PM
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I have to agree here. "demoting" Bangladesh to face lesser teams will not boost morale. It will have the opposite effect. Much of the current support for cricket in Bangladesh is because of its test status and the resultant frequent tours that it undertakes. In Bangladesh, with its poor social safety net, pursuit of careers is strongly correlated to the economic incentives of those careers. Test cricket (and playing reputed teams) has brought the financial muscle to the game which is so crucial to attract young talents by assuring them (and thier families) of a future in the game. Playing againsts Namibia is not the most exciting prospect for the sponsors, and the progress of the game in Bangladesh will severly suffer. ICC has embarked upon an irreversible path by granting Bangladesh test status and any change now will be suicidal. I hope is that Bangladesh will start to deliver on the world stage, and people will have a little bit more patience with them. We have the goods to do it. They will do it. Given our ponderous natures we are just slow off the blocks.

Originally posted by Cricket46
Very nice piece DJ.

However, I do not think winning against teams like Canada, Kenya would improve our international standing. It is doubly risky, because losing against such teams would be disastrous We still recall the pain of losing to Canada in the last World Cup.

Our win against a full-strength Zimbabawe and near wins against them and Pakistan and West Indies makes more people count us.
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Old July 23, 2004, 12:30 AM
DJ Sahastra DJ Sahastra is offline
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I see that most Bangladesh fans seem to disagree on one point - playing against the lower ranked countries like Kenya, Zimbabwe and all.

The concerns being the following:

1. It will not help the development of Bangladesh cricket

2. It will not help promote the game in terms of sponsors

3. The win, if bangladesh, will not be of much help as it would be coming against lesser teams against whom Bangladesh was expected to win anyways

4. It will be kind of "demotion"

I thjink most of the above points are mainly related to point 4 below, which is the perception of "demotion" by playing the lower ranked team. And this perception is mainly because of 2 reasons:

1. The pride as a bangladesh supporter, which is quite understandable.
2. Fear of losing to those lower ranked teams, which is again quite understandable.

Both the points above are valid and justified from a fan's perspective.

The point i was making though was NOT about just playing those lower ranked team, but about ALSO playing more matches against them , and in favourable conditions. It is NOT like hey, Bangladesh should only play Kenya, Zimbabwe, Scotland and all. It was more like, BD Cricket management board should plan the iternary to have those teams visit bangladesh and play some series which may help bolster the statistical record for the team. In between, it should be playing against the major teams too. Maybe a little less.

Addressing the issues above, i must say one thing; the views as a bangladeshi fan are bound to be different from the views as a non-bangladeshi fan. For example, when a non-bangladesh cricket fan would look at bangladesh teams performance, he will be looking at the fact that Bangladesh has had just 5 wins in 91 matches so far, with only win coming against a major cricket playing country. And Bangladesh has been playing cricket for almost 20 years now, with it's first ODI dating back to 85/86. An improvement on that statistical record is definitely needed even as Bangladesh teams continues to improve as a team.

Another fact that does not go overlooked bya non-bangladesh fan is that Kenya, a team with no infrastructure and almost very little following of cricket in it's country stands a few notches above Bangladesh in terms of it's standing in ICC table (28 points against 1) and also in terms of it's record against major cricketing nations (It has beaten India twice, West Indies twice, Sri Lanka etc.). It also has 6-1 record against Bangladesh. On all accounts it is a superior team on an objective analysis, and playing a mini-series against them should be accepted and treated like playing against a better team.

The problem with the above is the pride factor, which is obviously human. It may sounds more like an ignonimy and humiliation to some bangladeshi fan, maybe many, if one is to visualize that Bangladesh is playing Kenya for example, and maybe that's why the cricket board is reluctant to have a series like that. And yes, losing in that case would really be a big setback with no face-saving consolation.

There is that risk. And that is also the dilemma that probably most fans on this forum feel, if i were to read between lines on the disagreements.

But i think that it is also one way to set the record straight and prove to the cricketing community as to why Bangladesh deserved to be an ICC test playing nation ahead of Kenya, while also improve on the statistical record.

Besides, you never know what good victory against a competitive, even if non-major cricketing team can do to the team's morale. Playing Kenya or Zimbabwe, or even UAE, is not the same as playing Honk-Kong, and winning against them will not be the same either.
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Old July 23, 2004, 01:23 AM
rafiq rafiq is offline
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Dear DJ:

I think you make some valid points, but in perhaps trying to make too many points you have mixed up some apples with some oranges. Some comments:

1. Most knowlegable and serious bangladeshi cricket fans would like nothing less than a proper series against kenya. I don't have a clue why there isn't one scheduled. As for being afraid to play them, I don't agree with that. They already are ahead of us in the ODI table, have a 6-1 historical advantage, so we would be the underdogs, right? However, knowing the BCB mindset, I wouldn't be surprised if they were scared of this matchup. However, I am pretty sure our team and fans are not.

2. You get better only by competing against the best not against the weak. That is the same issue Ganguly has in playing the likes of Bangladesh. That is the way it is, no matter how much you debate it.

3. I think we already play Zimbabwe a fair amount, and we have already talked about Kenya. The others - we can play them occasionally to give them experience as well as get some wins but remember that they will not count as ODIs outside of major tournaments. So for people obsessed with the win-loss stats, beating up on Hong Kong and UAE (what exactly is the difference between these 2 teams, please?) will do nothing to give us more ODI points.
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Old July 23, 2004, 04:52 AM
chinaman chinaman is offline
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Dear DJ Sahastra

You want us to play more with Kenya? Why not WI, NZ or even India? Let India come play us 2 ODIs every month. Minimal travel cost.

BCB already has plans for the future. Let those guys worry about developments.

You already got fan's opinion and it is loud and clear everywhere in the board. My advice, please don't pull this anymore; don't try to sell what buyer hates most.

And I'm not expecting any reply. Thank you very much.
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