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  #1  
Old March 19, 2014, 01:14 AM
abherath abherath is offline
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Default WT20: Why should Bangladesh play in a qualifying round ?

If I asked this question a few weeks back, many would have rushed to defend the silly decision by the ICC to make Bangladesh - the host nation of all - play in a qualifying round. Looking at how the Tigers have gone past Afghanistan and Nepal almost without so much as batting an eyelid, it is clear that the Tigers should have gone into the main draw of the tourney straight away.

Putting the results to date in this WorldT20 qualifying round aside, one could see a clear difference in the approach and the style of play between the Tigers and the opposition they have unfortunately been pitted against. The Tigers have been clinical (except for some silly comments / antics of Mushfiq, Shakib and and a few others) while the opposition have been like amateurs with some flashes of brilliance.

In the recent Big3 proposals, some were arrogant enough to suggest that the three nations concerned should be immune from relegation in the now abandoned - thank god for that - test championship. If the ICC was not averse to that, it should not have been too much to ask for to have the Tigers in the main draw of the World T20 championship as they are the hosts of the tourney. The fact that Bangladesh is a test playing nation could have been another argument in support of this but then Zimbabwe, in their present unfortunate state, flatten this point of contention.

Looking at this from another angle, crowd support is very important for the success of a tournament and unarguably, Bangladesh has the best and the "craziest" fan base in the cricketing world. Just imagine the Tigers suffering one upset loss - very likely in a T20 - costing them a place in the final draw. That would result is a severe drop in crowd support at the business end of the tournament.

The ICC could have had just one slot in the final draw for a qualifier from among associate nations and Zimbabwe put together. (Once again Zimbabwe stick up like a sore thumb to almost flatten the point I am trying to make, as they are a test playing nation. It is unfortunate to see the state of their cricket caused by internal strife. Zimbabwe used to have great sides with the likes of the Flower Brothers, Andy Pycroft, Alistair Campbell, Heath Streak, Eddo Brandes, Graeme Hick, Henry Olonga, Tatenda Taibu etc. in them. That is another story, anyway.)

One could argue against the point I am making, referring to the recent defeat of Bangladesh by Afghanistan in the Asia Cup. That was obviously an exception and one cannot draw conclusions based on same. Bangladesh beating West Indies and New Zealand in ODI series (albeit the oppositions being weak at the time due to various reasons), their reaching the final of an Asia Cup, stretching No. 1 ranked Sri Lanka to the limit and the last ball in the recent head to head T20s - the list goes on - are clear examples that Bangladesh belong in the "big league".

The ICC is clearly being unfair with Bangladesh. (As a Sri Lankan, I think we would have been served with the same spoon for long if not for that great captain Arjuna Ranatunga turning tables on the so called big guns, handing heavy defeats to them both on and off the field. Sri Lanka winning the World Cup silenced the last critics, with mud in their faces and something elsewhere both of which I cannot mention in this august forum.)

The Tigers, for their part, have put themselves down too, at times; for example, by talking of "revenge" against Afghanistan, exaggerated celebrations after killing a fly etc. They should focus on who they are and what they could do and the rest of it will fall into place.

Just one other complaint I have against the Tigers, especially their present captain, is the knack for letting their opposition out of jail, in order to snatch defeat (gleefully ?) from the jaws of victory. Do those Tigers derive some masochistic pleasure out of doing that ?

I wish the Tigers good luck.

Last edited by abherath; March 19, 2014 at 01:25 AM.. Reason: Correction of punctuation etc.
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  #2  
Old March 19, 2014, 01:17 AM
Zunaid Zunaid is offline
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Great thoughts. Please check your PM.
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  #3  
Old March 19, 2014, 01:23 AM
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Thank you AB Herath. Couldn't agree more. Having said that, I'm not complaining about all these confidence boosting matches. We're an inconsistent and streaky side under the leadership of a brain dead captain, and could use the boost. Sadly though, our good performances are often followed by complacency on the field.

Definitely FP material.
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  #4  
Old March 19, 2014, 01:33 AM
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Very well said.

While its true we are a mediocre team, its an insult to make us play in the qualifiers. There is a reason why ICC is such a poor organisation. Never in the sports world have I seen hosts having to qualify

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  #5  
Old March 19, 2014, 01:35 AM
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Well, I would like to disagree. Though I am all in for auto-qualification of the host nation for any tournament but since this is not an option, I actually see the qualifying round to be just about right. It's Bangladesh's fault, to be fair. If you have a look at the rankings here, we are currently 10th and below Ireland by some margin. So it's only fair to the other nations at the bottom who are close to each other wrt to the rankings, to be given a shot at the second round.
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  #6  
Old March 19, 2014, 01:40 AM
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Dear AB you drew the finish line.

Even our official pleas to ICC sound masochistic enough to be denied.
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  #7  
Old March 19, 2014, 01:43 AM
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If it was upto me... i would make a 12 team tournament with the top two associates Afghanistan and Ireland taking part in the main event along with the 10 test playing nations
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  #8  
Old March 19, 2014, 01:50 AM
abherath abherath is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maysun
Well, I would like to disagree. Though I am all in for auto-qualification of the host nation for any tournament but since this is not an option, I actually see the qualifying round to be just about right. It's Bangladesh's fault, to be fair. If you have a look at the rankings here, we are currently 10th and below Ireland by some margin. So it's only fair to the other nations at the bottom who are close to each other wrt to the rankings, to be given a shot at the second round.
Thank you for taking the time to read this and comment and I respect your views.

You point makes one think how these rankings are calculated, in the first place.
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  #9  
Old March 19, 2014, 01:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jadukor
If it was upto me... i would make a 12 team tournament with the top two associates Afghanistan and Ireland taking part in the main event along with the 10 test playing nations
As raised by the OP, it wouldn't be fair because Netherlands and Scotland are above Zimbabwe in the rankings.

I think the ICC is doing alright by not giving overdue preference to the Test playing nations for the T20 format. It is obvious that the BCB and other countries like Zimbabwe doesn't give much preference to this format compared to the other boards, lets say; Ireland and Netherlands whose players continuously play T20 for county and other domestics. These boards know, T20 is their only shot to fame among the top dogs.

So why shouldn't the ICC give them a chance for the main event?
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  #10  
Old March 19, 2014, 01:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abherath
Thank you for taking the time to read this and comment and I respect your views.

You point makes one think how these rankings are calculated, in the first place.
Ahh the rankings.. That's a discussion for another day, isn't it?
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  #11  
Old March 19, 2014, 01:54 AM
abherath abherath is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jadukor
If it was upto me... i would make a 12 team tournament with the top two associates Afghanistan and Ireland taking part in the main event along with the 10 test playing nations
This sounds like a good idea.

May be four groups of three teams each in a league stage - resulting in 12 matches, and the top team of each group getting into a "Super Four" league yielding 6 matches and the top two teams of that league playing in the final. In all then there would be 19 matches.
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  #12  
Old March 19, 2014, 02:00 AM
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Its no doubt insulting. No other sports will do that and no other nation in top 10 would accept it either. Nevertheless, the qualifying round also proved the point that the call for 2 tiered system and Bangaldesh to be pitted within that group would make no sense either because the quality of attack, support and talent was noticeable. While you have 1, 2 exciting players in AFGH or NEP, like we did in Akram, Nannu, Bashar in 90s, they still need to have a pool or players who can deliver CONSISTENT results like Mushfique, Shakib, Mashrafee, Enamul, Tamim, Razzaque etc. Thats not there for Associate teams (And thats expected for semi-pro teams)

The tournament this year proved that the strategy to put BD against Associates was a wrong decision to filter out true top 10 but it did help ICC generate some money nevertheless. Without Bangladesh player, the attendance for a ZIMB vs. HK in Dhaka would not be sell out crowd on weekedays.

Another reality is we dont have a Saber Hossain Chowdhury, Ashraful Haque or even a Lobi who would fight for BD rights against the big boards- rather we have subservient CEO, President who would give in to whatever India says or didnt say yet.. So, we will have to live with it for a while until we show even better results in Group state which is totally possible given our talent and bit more HHH dancing and less Alooz consumption..
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  #13  
Old March 19, 2014, 02:00 AM
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I was also against this qualifying round thing for Bangladesh but now if I see closely I find it as blessing in disguise.

1. Winning comprehensively against associate teams shows the world that this Bangladesh team is far far better than associate teams. It was a great opportunity to shut those critics who thought Bangladesh should play in Inter-continental cup.

2. Winning is a habit. Ever since Bangladesh lost close games against SL, our player's moral and confidence was down. These wins against associate teams were much needed to boost up their confidence before playing against top 8.

3. The formation of team combination was also vital. Playing with same XI for couple of games will help players to gel together.

4. Finally, the win against Afganistan helped players to ease down mentally. They were under immense pressure after losing to them in Asia Cup.

So, all in all, those matches will help Bangladesh to go forward and play better in round 2.
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  #14  
Old March 19, 2014, 02:04 AM
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good points by Naimul
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  #15  
Old March 19, 2014, 02:14 AM
abherath abherath is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maysun
As raised by the OP, it wouldn't be fair because Netherlands and Scotland are above Zimbabwe in the rankings.

I think the ICC is doing alright by not giving overdue preference to the Test playing nations for the T20 format. It is obvious that the BCB and other countries like Zimbabwe doesn't give much preference to this format compared to the other boards, lets say; Ireland and Netherlands whose players continuously play T20 for county and other domestics. These boards know, T20 is their only shot to fame among the top dogs.

So why shouldn't the ICC give them a chance for the main event?
Very interesting point on some countries not giving much preference to the T20 format.
On the one hand the governing body should have a say in ensuring that all members play adequately in all formats. Some countries do not give much preference to test cricket too and others do not get to play much test cricket even if they want to. It seems to be the league of the big boys.
On the other hand, very interestingly, India has played only two T20Is in the last 12-month period or so. In spite of that they are high up in T20I rankings. What does one make of that ?
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  #16  
Old March 19, 2014, 02:46 AM
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All valid points and totally agreed with the opening thread but I am extremely glad that we are playing these matches and very single comprehensive win is not only moral boasting after such up a poor run up to the tournament but also a SLAP in the face to the ICC T20 organising committee.
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  #17  
Old March 19, 2014, 03:18 AM
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Nice post.
But this qualif round has been a blessing in disguise as we were not winning this yr.

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  #18  
Old March 19, 2014, 03:23 AM
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Thanks for the support Abherath. However Bangladeh in terms of being a team and diplomacy aren't great at the moment. The other big 3 have so much power in terms of on the field and off the field decisions that it doesn't give any say to us. We are fortunate just to host this cup and that is the only major plus point. The only way we can get out of this pre qualifications system is to play better. If we keep loosing to Zimbabwe an have hick ups against Associates doesn't help our cause.
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Old March 19, 2014, 03:51 AM
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My question is, if say, a team like New Zealand slips to no. 9 or no. 10 in the T20i rankings before the next world t20, would they be required to play associates to qualify? Or would that requirement be mysteriously scrapped if any team other than Bangladesh and Zimbabwe occupied the lower rungs of the rankings table?
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  #20  
Old March 19, 2014, 04:05 AM
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Great post, Herath!

A few points I disagree on. I have no real problems with Big 3 being safe from relegation so long as its not a tournament - which it wasn't. Big 3, like it or not, make or break cricket and so their presence is needed. I also have no problems with them taking more money, since they generate most of that too. I do have a problem with them cutting out Bangladesh (perhaps they never intended to do it and used it simply as bait to get our vote without giving us any net gain - and it worked!!!) and giving the Associates a few crumbs, while taking an equal number of crumbs away.

We are gaining a winning habit by playing this Associate round and learning how to play the T20 game in a similar manner to having learned to play ODIs by beating ZIM consistently from 2007-2010, and learning Tests by competing with WI and NZ in the last few years. So in this regard, we're making lemonade from the lemon handed to us.

At the same time, one could argue that our development in Tests and ODIs warrants us to be similarly respected in T20 despite our poor even by our standards record. However, as you've said, the ICC has a very strong elitist world view that cannot look beyond the 8 established sides.

This is to be expected though because the ICC is the sorriest excuse for a global sporting body one could think of. Embarassing failures include but are not limited too:

- failure to institute a World Test Championship to complement limited overs world cups
- failure to demand an administrative clean up in Zimbabwe
- failure to enforce equitable if not equal FTP fixtures for all sides
- failure to support top Associates like Ireland and Afghanistan
- failure to implement DRS uniformly and universally
- failure to prevent/punish ZIM for fielding over age players in U19 competitions
- failure to prevent/punush NET for "cheating" in the Cooper case
- progressive marginalization of Associates at World Cups

The only positives include:

- instituting the ICC Intercontinental Cup for Associates
- finally providing a pathway via said Cup for promotion to Test status
- cracking down on fixing and corruption via the ACSU

That alone tells you that the ICC is simply a tool to promote Indian, Australia, and English interests and little more.

************************

At the risk of being pedantic, I wouldn't say our wins against WI and NZ were against "weakened sides".

WI was at full strenght with Gayle, Darren, Narine, etc
NZ in 2010 was beaten with Ryder, Williamson and the same core team went to WC semis
NZ in 2013 had Anderson who has demolished teams and whitewashed India

In all 3 series we were missing key men (Tamim and Mash in the first NZ sweep and the match where we chased 300+), Shakib from the WI series and the 2nd NZ series as well and he counts as our 2 best players in 1!
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  #21  
Old March 19, 2014, 04:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Navo
My question is, if say, a team like New Zealand slips to no. 9 or no. 10 in the T20i rankings before the next world t20, would they be required to play associates to qualify? Or would that requirement be mysteriously scrapped if any team other than Bangladesh and Zimbabwe occupied the lower rungs of the rankings table?
I wonder the same too. What if WI or NZ slip to that point? I would really like to see what happens then.
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  #22  
Old March 19, 2014, 04:32 AM
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Gread read, this deserves to be a FP Article
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Associates whom Bangladesh has lost to: 1.Kenya 2.Canada 3.Ireland 4.Netherlands 5. Scotland 6. Afganistan 7. Hongkong
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  #23  
Old March 19, 2014, 05:21 AM
abherath abherath is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by al Furqaan
Great post, Herath!

A few points I disagree on. I have no real problems with Big 3 being safe from relegation so long as its not a tournament - which it wasn't. Big 3, like it or not, make or break cricket and so their presence is needed. ....

We are gaining a winning habit by playing this Associate round and learning how to play the T20 game in a similar manner to having learned to play ODIs by beating ZIM consistently from 2007-2010, and learning Tests by competing with WI and NZ in the last few years. So in this regard, we're making lemonade from the lemon handed to us.

At the same time, one could argue that our development in Tests and ODIs warrants us to be similarly respected in T20 despite our poor even by our standards record. However, as you've said, the ICC has a very strong elitist world view that cannot look beyond the 8 established sides.

This is to be expected though because the ICC is the sorriest excuse for a global sporting body one could think of. Embarassing failures include but are not limited too:

- .....
At the risk of being pedantic, I wouldn't say our wins against WI and NZ were against "weakened sides".

WI was at full strenght with Gayle, Darren, Narine, etc
NZ in 2010 was beaten with Ryder, Williamson and the same core team went to WC semis
NZ in 2013 had Anderson who has demolished teams and whitewashed India

In all 3 series we were missing key men (Tamim and Mash in the first NZ sweep and the match where we chased 300+), Shakib from the WI series and the 2nd NZ series as well and he counts as our 2 best players in 1!
Great to read your inputs on this.

One point on which I have no debate whatsoever with you is that the ICC is a sorry excuse for a global sports controlling body.

One mistake Bangladesh shouldn't make is to be complacent after thumping Afghanistan and Nepal and probably Hong Kong. They are not anywhere close to Bangladesh in terms of ability and most importantly big match experience. Warm up matches against stronger side would have been a better way of preparing for the business end of the tournament, like the other "big" sides are doing.
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Old March 19, 2014, 09:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Navo
My question is, if say, a team like New Zealand slips to no. 9 or no. 10 in the T20i rankings before the next world t20, would they be required to play associates to qualify? Or would that requirement be mysteriously scrapped if any team other than Bangladesh and Zimbabwe occupied the lower rungs of the rankings table?
And what if NZ is hosting that particular WC? IRE vs ZIM had more crowds in Sylhet than NZ gets in their own home matches. They had to promote catch the sixes and win tons of money to attract crowds. I am bringing this because the OP mentioned something about the fans and business end. Even on the basis of hosting alone, we should have been automatically in.

That being said, these games provided us much needed practice under high intensity.
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Old March 19, 2014, 10:38 AM
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Remember when ICC came out and said they were going to make the ODI WC only a 10 team tournament. Afterward there was a lot of backlash from the associates teams. In order to shut up the associates ICC promised them they would "expand" the T20 WC to include more teams. Well this is their way of "expanding". This way they can check of 2 things at once, big 3 (Eng, Ind, Aus) doesn't have to worry about playing associate teams and they can tell the associates well technically you guys did play in the T20 WC. Unfortunately I can this format being used during every T20 WC.

What we need BCB to do is to start putting more focus on T20, specially now with BCB not having to rely on FTP. They need to make sure we play at least 2 T20 matches in every series. The more T20 games will play, the better chance we will have of moving up the order. We only need to jump up a few places in the ranking in order to avoid the qualification round.
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