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Planning ahead: What the BCB should do for the short-term (2007)
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After the debacle that has been the Sri Lanka tour, the author looks ahead to the New Zealand tour. He proposes some short term goals and plans that should help Bangladesh's performances in New Zealand.

Planning ahead: What the BCB should do for the short-term

Published: 21st July, 2007

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Planning correctly is the first step towards tackling any process. Sound planning and implementation are needed in order to get any positive results. We probably know what the BCB has to do for the long term to develop the standard of cricket in Bangladesh. Enough has been written on that already. Reform domestic structure (decentralize), create bouncy pitches, have competent coaches for the regional teams, have more meaningful FC matches, add quality foreign players to enhance the standards etc.should all be considered as the long term goals. I want to focus on the short-term goals. It is not enough just to set these goals, we have to plan to meet these goals.

These are steps that the BCB can take which would rescue us from embarrassments.

We must learn from the past.

  1. When we went to Australia for the first time, Dav Whatmore specifically wanted the team there a month before the real competition began. They played few practice matches and got accustomed to the conditions. The over-performance was more than what any one could have expected. Aussie Captain Steve Waugh was happy to say that Bangladesh has coped and played better than several Test nations (referring to WI and Pakistan).
  2. Fast foward to WC2007. We were the first team to arrive in the Caribbean. We played more matches and became familiar with the conditions again. To me that was the key behind the unexpected trip to the Super Eights.

These positive results were the outcome of the short-term planning that we executed effectively. Similar steps are required to extract the best performances with our young players. BCB should send the Bangladesh team a month early to New Zealand and arrange a few first class matches with provincial teams. The purpose would be to get familiar with the condition and build temperament before the Test and ODI series. After the recent debacle against Sri Lanka, a thorough planning is very much needed. For any outside the sub-continent tour, I believe this early arrival and additional practice matches in the foreign land are necessary if we want to show some credible performances.

According to the future tour programs, Bangladesh is scheduled to play 2 Tests and 3 one-day matches in New Zealand. The tour starts with a 3 day match on 19th December. I would strongly suggest that Bangladesh should make proper arrangements to reach there at least couple of weeks earlier. This early arrival would allow them to play a few more matches against local first class sides. I do not think this would be hard to pencil in. One issue would be the expense for those extra days. If Cricket New Zealand is not ready to pick up the tab, I'd say BCB should pay for the much needed extra time . This is for our own good. So Bangladesh team departing around the 1st or 2nd December would be ideal.

Current NZ schedule:

Date Format Opponents Venue
December
Wed 19 - Fri 21 3 Day warm-up Northern Districts Seddon Park, Hamilton
Sun 23 1 Day warm-up Northern Districts Seddon Park, Hamilton
Wed 26 ODI 1 (d/n) New Zealand Eden Park, Auckland
Fri 28 ODI 2 New Zealand McLean Park, Napier
Mon 31 ODI 3 New Zealand Queenstown Events Centre
January
Fri 4 - Tue 8 Test 1 New Zealand University Oval, Dunedin
Sat 12 - Wed 16 Test 2 New Zealand Basin Reserve, Wellington


The trickle effect 1 - National camp

This dictates a minimum of two weeks of camp for the national players starting in the mid November. So the selectors would have to choose the players for the tour no later than November 10th.

The trickle effect 2 - Domestic league play

Unfortunately, starting a camp that early may not allow national players to participate in the domestic league. They might get one or two matches before the camp. This puts a sour taste to all those who were wiling to see some action by the players in the domestic league before the New Zealand tour. At the same time, selectors would not have the luxury to see who is in-form and who is not on the basis of domestic performances.

A lot of things should be considered before taking this is as a good short-term plan. I myself want to see the national players participation in the domestic cricket before the selection of the New Zealand tour. So I propose the following to the BCB for the greater interest of Bangladesh cricket

  1. Advance our domestic cricket schedule at least by a month if not more. Starting the first class league around the end of September or beginning of October would be helpful to the selectors to make crucial decisions.
  2. Make sure the Bangladesh team leaves for New Zealand by December 1st or 2nd.
  3. Arrange extra practice matches with local first class teams as soon as the team reaches New Zealand.

Only then can we demand better performance from the players whoever is chosen following a transparent selection procedure. Managing an organization is not that easy. Time is of the essence here. The sooner these steps are taken, the better it is for the players, coaches, selectors, BCB, team's performance and our beloved country.

 

About the author(s): Like most ex-pats Mijanul Akbar is always keen to see Bangladesh excel in every aspect of life. Sports is in his blood. He is a family man, works as an Auditor in US and also teaches Management courses online. We know him as Tigers_eye in our forum.

 

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