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Old February 21, 2006, 02:00 AM
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Ahmed_B Ahmed_B is offline
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Default Cricket suffering from the effect of Ultra-Popularity among a Nation starved for Respect..?

Enthusiasm is a notion that will probably never be taken as being something negative. But is there anything called hyper-enthusiasm? I’m not sure what terms or phrases can be used to represent our current craze for cricket (which we popularly call ‘cricket-love’) ... but the intuition that has been bothering me for some time now, is whether this extra-passion in BD fans about cricket is good for the whole show or is it rather an element of stress for a new growing team like Bangladesh? Are the fans in control of their emotions in the long run?

The Lights...
The rise of Cricket-Craze among Bangladeshis is surely something to be proud of, yet some interesting inherent reasons can be traced back as to why Cricket became so popular so fast in a country where Football (Soccer) has been deep rooted and the most popular sport for so long time. Cricket has surely overtaken the minds of Bangladeshis leaving Soccer far behind in the last 10-15 years. A nation like Bangladesh which could see almost no aspect of life where they could identify their national pride held high... had finally found something in Cricket that seemed to satisfy their hunger for being respected in the world context. With the crossing of the ICC trophy level and reaching the World Cup, the whole nation woke up and as if a spell was instantly cast on the soul of the nation as a whole. Almost for the first-ever time after independence, they started to feel the blood-rush of patriotism and emotions flying-high through the hearts. Cricket, amazingly enough, could emotionally unify the otherwise-multi-divided people as it could trigger their inner hunger for self respect and national-pride.

The Shadows...
But the question comes again...as I asked already: are we (fans) ultimately in control of our emotions? Are we ultimately fair to the team? Haven’t we put Cricket to a level of worshipping already? The egresses in the fans to have results is understandable, and as you can see, it surely has some contextual and emotional value, probably higher than many other nations. But there can be negative consequences too for that extra-hype we posses.

We cheer our success in cricket as a national-event... now isn’t that rare? YES! It is... and that puts our players in a position of super-heroes. But at the same time, it puts our struggling players under tons of extra-pressure which only can make their struggle a tougher one. We celebrate our victories like we just won a war. Consequently, we declare a loss or even a bad performance as ‘National-Humiliation’. Wins/Loses, good days/bad ones ... these are all just part of the game and keep happening all the time-specially if the team is just a 5-year old KID in the Test world! But for the Bangladeshi fans, even a Juvenile deserves no mercy –because it is the Ambassador for our long-starving National Ego.

Will it improve with Time...?
I am not sure how much I can really blame the Cricketers, specially when the average age of the whole team is around 23/24. Heroism is certain to get to their heads at times provoking them to ‘Play to the Crowd’ trying to cheer them. Perhaps that is why BD has shown best success on away matches, where rest of the world has been watching rather than just a staduim full of eager home-crowd. I am not sure how much I can blame the nation also... for being so ‘illogically-emotional’ (or maybe I should say ‘emotionally-illogical’) because this craziness only dignifies their patriotism as a whole. So at one end stands our ‘National-Ego’ at stake, whereas at the other end stands our Tender Team, sometimes suffocating, trying to meet the ultra-high demand of pride which has been lowered for so long.

I, personally, sympathize with these fighters who play for the country with my whole heart... no matter how stupid they sometimes behave. And I do believe that the Eager Fans as well as the Cricketers themselves will mature up with time and attain to the realization that hyper-emotions can only interrupt the sane environment where our cricket may have a smooth growth. Time and experience is perhaps the only cure for the Team as well as the Fans. Patience is perhaps the only key..

Edited on, February 21, 2006, 7:13 AM GMT, by Ahmed_B.
Reason: Formatting and Title
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Old February 21, 2006, 02:23 PM
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Shafin Shafin is offline
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The situation is also same to some extent in india and pakistan,But i really think this should be in the article section,is a very well written one
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Old February 21, 2006, 05:10 PM
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The situation is not the same in Pakistan or India. In fact, no other cricket country that is struggling at the highest level has the passion for Cricket like Bangladesh does. Pakistan had very little interest in the game in the 50s, and only a few victories started causing interest. Then interest died out in the 60s. Imran Khan coming into the team in the 70s, and the team getting firepower and for once starting to win started the craze. Even then Cricket was second to hockey in popularity till 1992 WC.

Bangladeshis love cricket, they are crazy about their national team, but they love cricket overall. No other country can get 36K people in a stadium to watch an U19 World Cup final between Pakistan and West Indies (even in these 2 countries this would not have happenned)

The extra presssure is definitely there, and it definitely bogs the players down.

I made an entry on this point on my blog a month ago. It was about Bangladesh and the criticism it recieves from the world regarding its test status. I am not sure about the rules of this board about posting a link to external blogs. If someone can clarify that, I can post the link here.
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Old May 2, 2006, 07:08 AM
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Ahmed_B Ahmed_B is offline
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Since there is no cricket going on for BD at the moment... just felt like bringing this topic back.

I do feel that BD team often feels the pressure of expectation and underperforms due to that.
Well...you only get one chance to make your first impression somewhere...!
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