Tuesday, December 18, 2018
Updated: Friday, July 30, 2004
An Alternative Outburst to our Failure

Zarar Khan

I just finished reading Ahmed Iqbal's article, "Elixir of Fighting Spirit." To say the least, I am immensely moved by the content of the piece. However, I am not quite sure it will have the same effect on most of our players even if we went as far as to translate it into Bangla for them. I have been a member of this forum for about four months now and I have come across a whole lot of analysis of our cricketing activities. There is an abundance of dedication on our part (BC members) for the betterment of BD cricket. And it is very much evident here. Sometimes I feel that some of our more revered members should have a say in the selection process or even be advisors to the BCB.

One interesting point that came to my mind this morning in the subway on my way to work feeling utterly devastated by today?s performance was that maybe we are evaluating our team on a totally ?micro? level. Here is a quote from Ahmed Iqbal, ?The technique, the talent, and the training ? it is all there. What has been, and is still largely missing, is the spirit and heart of a fighter.?

Did any of you ever stop to wonder that we are really not a nation of fighters? We may not be a failed nation, but we certainly are a dysfunctional nation. And our youth is the most affected. Our players are products of the same society that breeds indiscipline, unaccountability, short-sightedness, etc. Why should we expect our cricketers to achieve wonders for us?

I am sure a few of them never even dreamt of playing test cricket while they were growing up. I may be wrong here but I strongly believe that they probably are not even the most talented cricketers of our country. And I am not going to blame politics for this. Playing professional cricket was never an option for a huge number of talented cricketers in our society. It still isn't. Our parents want us to become doctors, lawyers, investment bankers, computer engineers. And there are others who piss away their lives on anti-social activities.

Missing spirit & heart of a fighter

Missing spirit & heart of a fighter

I am sure we are all aware of the prevalence of social ills that is crippling our youth. Some of you may question the relevance of this point but think about it ? cricket still is not a game for common people in England (of course only if you consider England to be the standard bearer of cricket). It is only recently reaching the masses in countries like India and Pakistan. It is still largely an elitist sport.

Indians and Pakistanis have been playing cricket for a while now. Initially, it was the Muslim Nawabs and Hindu Rajas that led the way and it gradually trickled down to the masses. Even now most Indian players come from educated backgrounds. Pakistan is a different matter altogether. Socio-economically they may be similar to us. But their cricket pioneers were mostly from affluent classes and ever since the departure of Imran Khan we have been witnessing a gradual decline in their performance. Why?

They probably are the only other dysfunctional test playing country. But they still have world class bowlers as well as batsmen. They are physically better endowed than us; whereas we are mostly malnourished and traditionally of a smaller physique. Their cricketing culture is much older than ours. Last but not the least, they are a proud cricketing nation; which we are not. Pride did miracles for them during Imran?s reign. But now, with cricket being revamped the ?Australian Way? along the line of other professional sports ? they are failing miserably, considering that their talent only rivals that of Australia.

Maybe, just maybe, our current crop of players cannot comprehend the intricacies of modern day cricket. The dedication, the discipline, the strength (mental and physical), the fitness, the aptitude and more importantly the ?sheer will to succeed? that no one ever instilled in the minds of our nation are absent in our players.

I wanted to take a different approach and contribute to the forum. Much has been written about our failures on a micro level. My elitist views may not be appreciated by some. But please, do not get me wrong. I am as proud as one could be that my country plays test cricket - especially coming from the generation that always had to pick an alien country to cheer for. All I am saying is that we need time.

The realization that we are a test playing nation needs to settle in. I feel our expectations are too high. You have to catch them when they are very young. The domestic cricket structure needs to be put in place. Whatmore, Woolmer, Wright if combined probably wouldn?t be able to change the outcome of this Asia Cup. So let?s move on. Inshallah the day isn?t far that our players will make us even more proud.