Friday, December 14, 2018
Updated: Thursday, September 16, 2004
Has the patience finally run out of Dave?

Junal A. Chowdhury

'Our players will perform much better than they did against South Africa.' That was Dave Whatmore's response to media frenzy, following the shock that occurred on Sunday at Edgbaston. Well how much better did they play against West Indies? Getting another wicket and adding 38 more runs, would that be adequate enough to describe it as an improvement?

This is something that I find amazing with our players. They tend to perform disastrously in competitions, whereas there are always signs of hope when they play in One-day series or Test matches.

What makes them become the whipping boys in virtually every competition they participate in? Is it because our players feel the immense pressure at the main stage or is it because they find it difficult to contain their excitement? I thought the World Cup 2003 was simply a one-off performance and that it's probably the pressure from the cricket board that led to our teams' downfall. But even at this recent Asia Cup I also turned a blind eye, thinking maybe they are still adapting to becoming a solid team, still experimenting on the opening partnerships.

But what I have witnessed over the two games in the Champions Trophy was unjustifiable. They played five practice matches before playing against South Africa, the reason being so they can adapt to the climate and the condition of England and United Kingdom, so after playing weak oppositions in practice matches they should have:

a) Achieved some sort of morale-booster or a platform for them to stop experimenting and playing cricket.
b) Adapt to the tricky conditions of the 'Great English' weather.

Judging by the results form both matches the latter was never achieved. Yes it is easy to boost your morale by winning a game or two. But even that for Bangladesh seemed quite tricky when they lost to Scotland. However I shall leave that topic for a 'rainy day', something maybe Bangladesh would have hoped for in both matches.

Another hook & another out

Another hook & another out

But the reason as to why I am frustrated and even Dave Whatmore would be frustrated at, is the manner in which we lost both matches. I was there to witness the horror and nightmare at Edgbaston, something that will remain in memory for a while. Dave Whatmore has spent months and months teaching our players the simple basics of playing cricket, but it all went to waste in both of the matches. Our 'hook' shots and 'fishing' will never leave our players, it is almost as if they have engraved it in their minds.

Therefore I can truly understand why Dave Whatmore doesn't want to speak to the media, and even did not attend the press conferences. What more can he say to them, without spitting out the obvious. Sometimes it's not necessary for him to come up with excuses to defend the team. What he was assigned to do, was to apply technique and cricketing knowledge to our players, now if our players don't have the chemistry or the sense God gave even to goats, it would be impossible to get any sort of performances in these competitions. Thus it is not always obligatory to make promises that you know will never manifest themselves, like our players will perform much better than they did against South Africa. Fans do not need false hopes, expectations or any sort of comfort with reassuring words; we want to see action.

I am patient, I can wait a very long time for a good result, but what I at least want to see is improvements in important matches. We have always played well in practice matches, but in matches that truly matter, we have played appallingly, I and almost everyone else would always prefer the reverse of that role any day, but the question is when will that happen? It is always two step backwards whenever we take a step forward, which is a tragedy really. The song 'Tragedy' by the Bee Gees is reverberating around my head whenever I reflect upon the state of Bangladesh cricket.

The author is a distinguished member of banglacricket forum and goes by the nick "Bangla Mostan" - editors