Thursday, September 19, 2019
Updated: Thursday, June 02, 2005
Kim Hughes gave up his captaincy and ran

Aminul Islam Bulbul

In his column in the Bangla daily Amar Desh, former captain and Bangladesh's first Test centurion Aminul Islam Bulbul responds to criticisms of Bangladesh by ex-Aussie skippers Richie Benaud and Kim Hughes after the 1st Test versus England at Lord's. BanglaCricket is pleased to publish an English translation of his column. - Eds.

The comments on Bangladesh by ex-Australian skippers Richie Benaud and Kim Hughes in the Daily Telegraph (Sydney) did catch my eye and I have gone through their comments. I think that either their memory is failing or that they are deliberately avoiding some facts.

Everyone has the right to criticize. However, if the criticism is one-side and even worse, if the criticism ignores the facts, then people do also have the right to protest. Both Benaud and Hughes assailed the performance of Habibul Bashar?s team after the Lord?s Test.

It is surprising how they have forgotten Bangladesh?s recent past performances. Do they not know about the Test and ODI series wins against Zimbabwe, or the ODI win against India or even the performance of the team during the West Indies tour earlier? Even during the Australia tour, when some people were talking about a one-day Test win, Bangladesh?s performance surprised these same so-called pundits.

However, during those successes, Benaud and Hughes said nary a thing and wrote nary a word. It is not their habit to praise others. But, come time to criticize, they are chomping at the bit!

They have to remember that cricket today is a much more modern and competitive game than the cricket of their era. These days, successes and failures are scrutinized under a microscope. Cricket has entered the age of computers. Today, it is difficult to even survive the main race. Do Benaud and Hughes not know of the current state of West Indian cricket or England?s 17 year long list of agonizing failures in the Ashes. But no, the pens of these so called experts remain capped.

We expect constructive criticism from the critics.

Now, let us take a look at the past. In the 70?s, when Clive Llyod?s West Indies and their pacers were battering the entire cricketing world, Benaud came up with an astounding suggestion. In order to make inffective the West Indian pacers, why not increase the length of the pitch from 22 yards to 26 yards? Thankfully, that bizarre proposal never came to be implemented. And when Kim Hughes? team was being torn to pieces by the visiting West Indies at home, in the middle of the tour (3rd Test), he gave up his captaincy reigns to Alan Border and all but turned tail. The ?pair? in the 4th Test just about killed his (Hughes?) career. The team of Habibul Bashar did not run away. They are sanguine. Hughes would have done well to have learned this lesson.

No one should have second thoughts about the potential of Bangladesh cricket. The passions of 140 million people are intimately tied to this.

Australia is helping out Bangladesh cricket in myriad ways. At this time, these comments from the so-called Aussie experts are most unwelcome. The cricket world must accept both the successes and failures of Bangladesh cricket from the same level playing field. We desire constructive criticisms, support and direction.

Sydney, May 31, 2005