Monday, April 21, 2014
Updated: Sunday, May 29, 2005
About failures - a history lesson

Zunaid Haroon

We, humans, have a likelihood of wiping out memory, be it, short or long. And hence when confronted by clich? of history repeating itself we stand confused. Let?s take a step back; this is not a history lesson. The attempt is to humbly outline the achievements of an underdog, the Bangladesh cricket team, in the recent history. The history part is a simple analogy and the idea is to draw relevance that progress does not happen in a linear curve, rather almost in a burst after long gaps of silence.

History, I find quite entertaining. Especially, it helps me identify certain indicators. Personally, I am interested in the ones that show growth. One of my favourite indicators is to see that today the fans see Bangladesh at par with Zimbabwe. In the past Bangladesh had been denied in several occasions by Zimbabwe in the world cup qualifiers within the span of the past couple of decades. In the ICC era, a loss to Zimbabwe was acceptable. But certainly today, any Bangladeshi fan would take a loss to Zimbabwe quite seriously.

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In cricket terms, any new country should struggle and that is normal. An analogy to the bode of Sri Lanka, or Zimbabwe or even New Zealand is irrelevant. The truth remains that in the past 30 years the sport does not show a particular linear growth pattern for Bangladesh. Incidentally, most of that achievement happened in the past four years and precisely speaking in the past two. The achievements have come in the forms of having a first-class structure and high-performance programs. But most importantly, Bangladesh cricket is receiving some decent funding today. Perhaps sponsorship with large budget is the next item in queue.

Interestingly, a few of my English friends have asked me the question about Bangladesh?s potential in England. So how much of history can the team really write? Many have asked about targets and results. In my opinion, all of that is irrelevant. In the grand span of history, even if we lose heavily to a pumped up English side, does it really matter? To the immediate affect perhaps, yes it does bring down the morale.

Unfortunately, the odds are significantly against us. But fortunately, past performance is not indicative of future results (a catch phrase often used by investment bankers and portfolio managers). Therefore, in every reason for uncertainty, Bangladesh has a chance to make an impact in the next few weeks. But speaking of target, realistically, I would be genuinely happy to see a couple of our players landing some county contracts. That would be the growth indicator for the next series when Bangladesh play in England. Collectively, we humans don?t really take many lessons from history. But there are exceptional individuals who do that often and these are the ones who take our stride forward in leaps. I am hoping in coming days we will discover a few of those in the forms of Ashraful?s bat or Mashrafe?s inswinging delivery, or relentlessly more from someone else.