Just like any other Bangladeshi, I still remember the day Bangladesh beat Pakistan
in World Cup 1999. I can easily see that picture of an almost squire figure
taking the champagne bottle at the end of the game. That was one of the best
days of Bangladeshi cricket history. Thank you so much Sujon, for that day.
Our cricket has moved a lot from where we were on that day. Many things, however,
just stopped right there. We have been remained winless since then. Along with
win, there is another thing that stopped on that day, Sujon?s performance.
Our current problem with Sujon would not be so much critical if that win was
his only contribution. After fruitless and frustrating four years, another World
Cup came to our door. After having both Canada and Kenya in our group, some
sport columnists were calculating the possibility of Bangladesh playing in the
second round. How little did they know! Not only we had the worst performance
in there, the team that came back from South Africa, had a team spirit close
to zero and mental strength who knows where in the negative scale. Looking at
everything, there was no doubt that the captain needed to be replaced at the
beginning of the reconstruction work.
Well, the reconstruction work began with quite enthusiasm. A World famous
coach was assigned, a board was created to investigate the reasons of such an
utter failure, and facilities were increased as much as possible within limits.
The first big problem encountered by this flow was the necessity of a captain.
Almost forgotten Sujon was recalled. He was always famous for his fighting spirit
and team work. Considering this, an off formed hero was assigned to lead the
team in the field. If we go back to that time, we see that Sujon was not only
the best choice in that situation; he was the only solution as a captain. Whatmore
showed his magic and did improve the team, but he also needed an ?insider?
who will work for him. Sujon did his job of spreading the team spirit among
players. We cannot deny his role at that time and that was his second big contribution
toward our cricket.
The darker part of this story is that his form remained unchanged. With time,
the team has reached a situation where the necessity of a spirit boosting captain
has ended. Once the team became reorganized, it was more important to have a
performing player than a captain for a captain?s sake. So, Sujon became
completely unnecessary. Only if he could perform just a bit, he would remain
the captain for a long time. Unfortunately, things did not go that way. Not
only he failed as a batsman, he carried the label of the ?worst test bowler?
for a while. His presence in the team was continuously creating a big gap in
the team, and he really needed to be replaced. He was replaced, and as his performance
does not qualify him for the team, he went outside the squad as well.
Things would be much better for us if it ended there and we could just remember
him with respect. Unfortunately for us, some people for some unknown reason
coaxed him back to the one day squad. I?m not sure what they were thinking.
May be they just could not forget his contribution or whatever the reason is,
they got him back. It is true that he had contributed to our team, but there
is no bigger truth than this: the team do not need him now. Still he is in,
and not only in, probably he will be in the first eleven in the first ODI against
Zimbabwe. This is just a complete waste of a position and who knows for how
many ODIs we will keep doing this waste. The result of this waste could be crucial
because this is our best chance to win an ODI in a long while. If that happens,
a hero can turn into a villain, if not already is a villain. Please Sujon, we
want to remember you with respect. Please leave the team and make room for a
more useful player. I hope the selectors understand this too. We almost forgot
how a win taste like. Go Bangladesh, give us a win. Please.