It looks like we are running out of time to keep our elite status. Our team continues the lackluster performance and it seems they are simply not capable of wining or even ready to compete with the elite teams. Bangladesh cricket team has become a laughing stock in the eyes of International Cricket World (Source Prothom Alo reporter, who had to leave the press box as foreign media continued to make fun of our team and players, in front of our journalists). While we can't compete against elite teams, rest of the world is catching up fast. USA had a strong showing, Scotland and Canada already beat us, Kenya beats us regularly and more whipping is on the way. If things continue this way, there will be that tier system and soon we might be relegated to the lowest one.
- Choosing the combination: Not sure who should play at what position. After so many experiments with players, nothing seems to works.
- Domestic league not properly formed: National players cannot play in the domestic league so it became less attractive and we don't have a place for them to try out and to sort things out in real match conditions.
- Thin Talent pool: Hard to find replacements for injured or out of form players.
- Players are not so professional and less motivated in the field.
- Team is very young & less experienced. They need to get more experience & exposer before being thrown into the deep.
- Low morale: Morality takes a big hike after continuous losses.
- Players look over played and tired.
- Proper team composition: Seems like we are always a batsman and a bowler short.
- Division within the team: Chacha & Mushfiq selection dilemma.
- Poor indoor and outdoor facilities
There is a saying: Do one thing and do it right. A very good example is Team India. They have a solid lineup and everybody is assigned a position, and for each position they have backups. If the starter fails or gets injured, he is replaced by his substitute. Its not like they go through order shuffle or rotations in every game.
To improve this is what I think needs to be done.
- We must have a solid domestic league cricket with 12-16 teams played out for at least for 3 months, during which all the players, including the national players will participate. No international cricket participation at that time. The league will be both one dayers and 3/4 dayers. This is the root, it must be prioritized. BCB needs to work this out with ICC for its own sake.
- At the end of the league, we will select 44 players with 4 players for each position. We will form 4 teams out of them, let them play against each other, and then find the winning combination out of them. So our talent pool is not so thin, we have at least 4 players for each position. And we will do all the experiments right here, and we know who belongs to what position.
- In the domestic League Pitch will be of various conditions, so that no matter were we play the players are used to it. Must allow 3/4 foreign players in each team, so our players get exposure to playing fast bowling and ruthless batting.
- It will not provide less chances for the local players, rather it will give them more exposure and experience. That's how we improved during the early nineties and that's the way to go. It will be more competitive and good players will earn more. If BCB still wants more local players, they can increase number of teams or make more leagues.
- Thus players will earn their experience and professionalism in the hard fought local but international league in all pitch conditions! Once this league is complete there will be more leagues to follow which will keep all the players except the national ones busy throughout the year and will make their living. How about some indoor cricket?
- Players will be exposed to nail biters in the domestic league, and see some of the seasoned international players leading the team by example. They will learn how to win the matches in tough conditions. And they will see, it is indeed possible to win!
- Now that we have found the team and we have backups, BCB must make sure players are not overplayed and tired. Use the substitutes more often, and prepare calendar such a way that key players are always ready for the big games.
- Ideally there will be 6 batsmen, 3 pacers, 1 WK and 1 spinner. There must be 2 part time bowlers among the batsmen.
- This is not an ideal world. Politics is there and will be there not only within the BCB, but also within other boards and even the ICC as well. We just need to deal with it. It does help if we have good leaders.
BCB must bring professionalism in cricket as much as possible. They will see how TV rights and sponsorship bring so much in this sports. They just need to make the leagues more attractive, bring in foreign players and show some if not all games on TV. During the last corporate league when we had many foreign players, we did not see lack of spectators and that is how it works. Bring attractions and the crowd will follow through. And soon the crowd will be followed by the local media. And there you go, the corporate businesses will take no time to take advantage of all this. Trust me money will never be a problem. It is a proven system in the USA, UK, Canada, India and in other countries and it will work for us too.
The author is a distinguished member of banglacricket forum and goes by the nick "reyme" - editors