BanglaCricket.com: Article


Sunday, December 21, 2014
Updated: Monday, September 01, 2003
Do you really want it?

Nazim Shirazi
 

I have said it a few times that "In order to succeed, we must first believe that we can". Do our officials and players really believe that it is time we start winning games or that we have the capability to win matches? I am not sure about that.

Yes attitude is important if it is positive. I believe, that either you control your attitude or it controls you. Positive attitude is a key to mental strength and success.

Many victories have been snatched by the underdogs because they wanted it more, so if we desire intensely and we act upon it, then everything stands within our reach. On the other hand, many a talented individuals failed because they lacked desire, positive attitude and mental strength.

The Bangladeshi cricket fans have dreams and their dreams can come true if we all collectively have the courage to pursue them, together.

The greatest glory is not in never falling but in rising every time we fall. We have gained a lot of respect worldwide in a matter of last couple of months starting from the Australian tour.

Bangladesh as a nation has strong passion for cricket which will inshallah eventually insure success for our people. I hope it is sooner than later.

Success has always been easy to measure. It is the distance between ones origin to ones final achievement. We have come a long way in a short period of time. The power to succeed or fail is ours and no one can take that away from us.

Here are a few questions I would like to ask our players and officials. OK, guys, do you want it? Deep down, are you still hungry enough? Or are you subconsciously a little too satisfied to dig deep into your competitive center to pull out another decent performance or a win that is over due.

You look like a team pleased to have drawn a test match due to rain and won a single one-day match against a test team. That was some four years ago. It has been this way throughout most of the last four seasons, so there's no reason a win should come as such shock at a time when you are actually competing, controlling, dominating, not only sessions but even a couple of days in last two test matches.

You must build upon the success of day one and day two, covert and carry the advantage deeper into the match to position your team to be the aggressor and to eventually eye a win or even a draw. If you let the opposition be the aggressor and to take control of the match at that point, as we did in the last test after playing perhaps our best test match so far, you will not stand any chance to produce a decent result the fans desire and deserve. Why don?t you have the heart and strength to fight back when attacked and crumble like a pack of cards? Why can you not stop the massive collapse you suffer in your batting so often? Every team goes through a collapse in cricket and at times fight back and come out of it. At least, they make a strong effort. Yes, make the damn effort, show some class and dignity. Is that too much to ask.

The point is, do you really want it? Do you want it bad enough? Better start proving it soon. Better start proving it to yourself first, individually. Where is your pride and dignity?

So you should better get off your big, self-satisfied mentality right now. Better start playing hard from the opening session, the last session, very session in-between and not let up, or it's not going to happen. The win is not going to happen any time soon.

"I'm sure it looks at times like, 'Man, these guys don't want it. They're not playing with the energy or the fervor that a winning team is supposed to play with. That is the impression the fans get. That is the impression I get. A few players have played their heart out. Cricket is a team game and you need all eleven players to play as a cohesive unit and be on the same page throughout the test match, not just a few players, not just for a day or two.

Lack of self belief, determination, team unity and fighting spirit will cause the players to have emotional strain and stress and it will be too much for some to handle. You are very fortunate to be in this position still, where you have a legitimate chance to win against an average Pakistani Team. If you were playing Australia, we would understand.

You should be going after it. Come hell or high water, you should not have any plans of taking it easy or just accepting whatever happens. Come out of this losing mentality and show some character. You must plan to win. What ever it takes, that's what you have to do as a professional. I think making history should be that way, this year, this tour.

Sounds good, but now you have to do it. People wonder whether you can, whether you have it in you, or are you a bunch of soft cricketers who walk into the field knowing you can not win. Show some attitude. Give people a reason to call you tigers.

Bottom-line, the BCB didn't help you with a real coach (not just a an ordinary coach for the sake of having a coach) in the last four or five years. I could have personally done a much better job myself than most of the coaches you have had in the last few years. You are fortunate to have landed an excellent and extremely efficient coach in Dave Whatmore. He is not a magician and will not do magic. If you have him around for five to seven years, then you will see what a difference he will make. He is a perfect coach for our players and a strong man to deal with our officials whose inability to have a vision, construct a failed infrastructure may be the cause of some of your failures. One good thing they did, they did bring in a real coach.

There was no infusion of cricketing leaders (not just politicians or people who have little knowledge of cricket) in BCB, who would lead your cricket and your players into victory, who is starving for a win, any win. The commitment went to the core (the players) who could not do it by themselves. Now the players have a coach who will guide them to get it done.

All test playing nations have a deeper team with more experience as they have more quality players to choose from. Every team you face will likely have a more athletic team. You're going to have to find your edge right now, and keep it. Battle hard all the time, every time. Dive and defend, fight back hard with determination and contest with passion.

With the single-minded focus that made you control and dominate the first two days of the last test match, you may make bring joy to your fans and give them what they deserve. An effort they will be proud of. Are you ready to give everything you have, or are you unable to find that craving for a win. That sounds comforting, but then you look too comfortable right now loosing close matches. You must play with urgency, that should be a sign like the code for hunger.

The thing about it is, you can still pull it off. Can still regroup, come out committed and assertive, and still capture the heart of your fans and make your country proud.

It will be harder than ever, but it can happen. If you want it bad enough. If not, you could go down in history as underachievers.

Habibul Bashar, Mohammad Rafique and Mashrafe Mortaza look hungry and focused, but as a unit, your team look as though they've been feasting too long from the table of contentment.

Do you really want it?