Thursday, September 28, 2023
Updated: Saturday, July 31, 2004
No More Debutants

F Waliullah
Over the last few years, there have been many debutants for Bangladesh, playing in almost every home series that we play, not to mention the overseas tours, and yet, the success-rate for Bangladesh is nearly down to zero.

Result-wise, in how many matches did we manage to succeed? Only one ODI victory over Zimbabwe in the last five years, and just the one drawn test match in the West Indies after playing full five days. However, a saved test match is hardly called a success, since Bangladesh has already played 30 tests since the inaugural test against India.

In the most recent home series against England, there were numerous debutant players - Enamul Haque Junior, Jamaluddin Ahmed, Monjurul Islam Rana, Nafis Iqbal, Moniruzzaman, among these five players, only one have survived so far - Monjurul Islam Rana. During the TVS cup, Mohammad Selim's debut was under unusual circumstances - right after the world cup, so may be we can forget about his debut for the moment. Anwar Hossain, Ehsanul Haque were the other two players who had worn Bangladeshi caps during the home series against West Indies, and neither of them are present in the current squad. So, if are to get one player in every four to five debutant players, then is it worth it to have too many debutants in the side?

To be more specific, it is not their fault that we are not succeeding. However, their inclusion in the team so far has done more harm to the team than it should have done. By now, Bangladesh has past the 4th season in test match cricket, and yet, there are no major victories to speak of. Everybody is getting impatient more or less. There have been too much talk about 'the great potential' that we possess.

After the current team that had shown quite a disappointing performance in the Asia Cup, coach Dav Whatmore has mentioned of some 'selection changes'. There is also mention of the current Under-19 tour to England in some of the papers. It is not hard to assume that the thought of including some of these under-19 players is coming in the minds of our prestigious selectors. If this assumption is true, then it is our sincere hope that they just sit tight for a whole season, and not introduce more debutants into the current team full of youngsters.

Because, there are already too many young debutants in the team who are seemingly 'crying out loud' to give them a break. Do you see the performance of Alok Kapali? Rajin Saleh? And what about Mohammad Ashraful? Alok Kapali had a tremendous debut season, full of so much promise. Now look at him. Then look at Rajin Saleh - what a gutsy player he is! Now look at him. And how many failures did we see of Mohammad Ashraful, before his most recent 'coming of age'? After that famous debut test match hundred, he struggled to survive for almost two years. Only recently did he manage to find his own feet at the International arena, but not without some more struggle. If the same pattern continues, we can safely assume that Monjurul Islam Rana and Abdur Razzak Raj will have a wonderful debut season, but will they stay here long, or will they, or their performance be vanished into thin air?

Enough talk of the debutants. The most desired hope from Bangladesh now, is success, success and success. If there is a need for change in the current team, then let it be from the hundreds of players who have already played for Bangladesh. We want more Javed Omars to return with success. Even if that means bringing back 40 year old Minhazul Abedin, Akram Khan and Aminul Islam. We simply do not care about anything any more. The only thing that we care about, is for Bangladesh to win.