Tuesday, January 22, 2019
Updated: Friday, July 30, 2004
Fostering competitiveness

Safaat U Shahadat

One of the major reasons why Bangladesh has been struggling to compete at the international level is due to the lack of quality domestic competitions and uncertainty of the path and process required to be followed in order to make it to the National team. Several players make it to the highest level on the basis of just sheer talent rather than hard work. As a result they struggle to perform consistently at top level which in turn leads to players being in and out of the team. This in and out causes the team to become unstable leading to their eventual below par showing at the tests and ODIs.

A format must thus be developed in our country so that players are selected according to the First Class record rather than just a highlight of talent. Like the Australian Domestic competitions, Bangladesh also has 6 major teams participating in the domestic competitions. However quantity is only the similarity between the two leagues. Quality does not exist at all here.

Picture from the CCL

Picture from the CCL

For an aussie to get into a state team is really though. One reason for this is because each state hardly consists of more than 25 players. It thus means that players will have to perform to their highest ability in club matches and compete with each other to make it to the state team. Moreover players inside the state team will need to perform consistently in order to keep their positions as the club players are constantly pushing for a place. This ensures that only the best can make it to the national team and that there is constant knocking at the door from state players. This would also keep them on their toes and would create incentive for doing well consistently at International level.

Bangladesh could do well by limiting the amount of players in state teams and by not allowing extension policies but introducing replacement policies. Also point system needs to be developed in such a manner that each run scored or each wicket taken will matter.

Now the factor is club cricket. Which players deserve to play in clubs? Probably those who come from schools and colleges. Those who take coaching in academies. If this is the case then two policies can be used in order to bring the best players in the clubs. One is to have regular cricket competitions between schools. Not only shorter but longer versions. Shorter version can be played during the study days of the school whereas longer version can be played during the vacations. By playing the longer versions during vacations those players can be sorted out who are genuinely interested in cricket. Proper coaching centers can be made for these school players.

Another way of bringing players into clubs is by simply increasing the numbers of players. That can be done by allowing universities to compete at club level. Also it may be made necessary for clubs to have their own coaching centers in order to qualify for the club status.

By implementing such a policy the cricket can be made very competitive. Also players can be categorized into teams such as Bangladesh A and Development team (these already exist). These teams will include players who do well in state matches. After every season a series of First class and OD matches between these teams should be played.

The above format allows new players to be brought in and groomed into higher standards. However what to do for the current national team player? Well the answer is simple. Whenever not playing international cricket these players should be playing the league. NOT ONLY state but also club cricket.

Editor's note:

Domestic club level competitions in Bangladesh are highly competitive where test players from other elite nations come to play on a regular basis. District, University, College and School level competitions are in place too.

The author is a distinguished member of banglacricket forum and goes by the nick "the_wall".