Wednesday, December 19, 2018
Updated: Tuesday, May 25, 2004
Setting Personal Targets

Ali Tareque

If one takes the pain to list the merits coming out of recent Bangladesh cricket, fan enthusiasm will be sure to hover around the top, and that both in capacity and intensity. And widespread enthusiasm has always worked as a self-stimulus in uplifting the concerned field of interest.

Besides the obvious effects, it may not hurt to add some deliberate bolstering in the process. As far as amenities and accommodations are concerned, currently we are in a state arguably better than any time before, and improving (hopefully). But, in spite of the recent improvements in all the areas such as batting, bowling and fielding, we seem to be dwelling on a quasi-euphoric-plateau of developmental stage for quite sometime. This may not necessarily be looked at as a very problematic state, as these intermittent plateaus, along with the developing ascents, create the staircase to success. But nevertheless, to keep it on the course we need those ascents, even if sometimes with deliberate thrusts.

One thing that Dave Whatmore mentioned while giving vent to his exasperation at the outcome of the ODI series against the West Indies that seemed to be as important as anything else for the development is about the players setting their own personal targets. Our players definitely have their own personal targets, but there are always places to improve. Understandably, cricketers very often tend to set their targets in comparison with what have been achieved by their fellow players, past or present. Given the immeasurable gap that prevails between Bangladesh and other countries in both respects, we cannot completely blame our cricketers for their apparent shortage of self-esteem.

Talking about esteem, achievement begets recognition, and recognition gives birth to esteem. And even though 'esteem assisting in achievement' completes the cycle, we need not wait to get the 'Chicken and Egg' puzzle solved. There might as well be other ways to get around with this self-esteem problem.

Of course, while this issue is more of a cultural and psychological one, it nevertheless bears tremendous importance towards the advancement of the sport in the international arena. In addition to what the therapists and other specialists are doing in this sector, there might be several other ways to attack this problem.

I would like to propound an idea of monetary incentive, sponsored, possibly, by corporate bodies. Announcement of awards for each small achievement in the field may go step-by-step with the players' course towards team success. Given the interest the corporate bodies are taking in the sport, it might be easy to convince them to pursue this scheme. Awards may be declared for all the wins, hundreds, fifties, catches, wickets, running-outs, stumpings, partnership records, man-of-the-match's, double/triple hundreds and hattricks, and for reaching personal landmarks. As it happens, these awards will eventually grow out of its monetary value and acquire the status of accolades resembling minuscule mileposts along the path of personal achievement.

While this is just one idea, fans will hopefully be spawning numerous ideas, which will be easy to put into work. At least that will be one of the merits of fan enthusiasm.