Thursday, November 26, 2015
Updated: Thursday, January 12, 2006
|2005 Alphabet Soup|
Razab Q. Chowdhury and Zunaid Kazi
A is for both Ashraful and Aftab. If and when the cart called consistency catches up to the carrot of their promise, the Tigers will become a team to be reckoned with.
B is for BCB (Bangladesh Cricket Board). Somehow, even as it operates in a corrupt part of the world and has a parent organization (ICC) that itself sees only green, our keepers of the game have managed to bring consistency to team selection, held on to their most expensive employee and improved the overall cricketing infrastructure of Bangladesh. The epitome of professionalism it may not be, but one has to only look at Kenya, Zimbabwe or even the Indian boards to realize that it could have done much, much worse.
C is for Cardiff where on one glorious English summer day, the Tigers pulled the mother of all upsets, beating Australia in a NatWest trophy game. It was only an ODI and Bangladesh soon reverted to form thereafter, but was there a single BD fan, nay Cricket Fan whose heart did not fill with joy as Ashraful plundered one hundred runs and Aftab?s mighty blow off Dizzy sailed over the boundary for a six. David once again smote Goliath.
D is for Debutants. Rasel, Shahriar, Shahadat and Mushfique were the only debutants this year and none has looked out of place on the big stage. It?s that damnable consistency in team selection rearing its head again. That and the U-19 pipeline we seem to be developing.
E is for Eddie Barlowe. Eddie passed away after a long illness December 30, 2005. He was appointed Bangladesh coach in 1999 after Gordon Greenidge?s ouster and did a fabulous job of preparing the Test babes for their maiden venture; a 400+ 1st innings will attest to that. However, a stroke in 2000 left him paralyzed and cut short his stint in Bangladesh. Eddie was a great coach and a true supporter of Bangladesh cricket. May he rest in peace.
F is for Fans. Through thick and thin, mostly thin at that, and we are talking silicon wafers here, we have continued to love our team and follow it, like true fanatics.
G is for Golla, Javed Omar Belim Golla. Much maligned by fans and equally loved by the stroke happys cabal that constitutes the rest of our batting line up.
H is for Habibul Bashar. Love him, hate him, he?s still the best we got ? by some distance. And a true gentleman on the field too.
I is for India and the irresponsible excuses their Board seem to come up with to not host Bangladesh. Look up myopic in the dictionary and you might just find a certain S. Pawar turning up!
J is for Junior. Enamul Haque Jr. to be exact, though his nascent stats suggest he should be Moni-mia?s senior daddy. As in ?who?s your SLA daddy??
K is for Khaled Mashud. Along with Bashar, he is the kandari that keeps the BD ship going towards the general direction of betterment.
L is for Luck. Never hurts to have it ? especially when facing ICC ?neutral? umpires.
M is for Mashrafe. Boy he could use some of that L!
N is for Naf(i|ee)s. In one shot we can cover both Shahriar Nafis and Nafees Iqbal both of whom played significant roles in our highlight reels for the year. Nafis guaranteed our first Test series victory with his dogged 470 minute century at Chittagong. Shahriar graduated to the big leagues and stamped his arrival with a 75 versus the Aussies and a maiden Test half century during our sorry tour to Lanka. Have we reached the end of our holy quest for that consistent opener to partner Golla?
O is for Outrageous shot selections. Messrs Harmison and McGrath may be called upon as prosecution witnesses.
P is for Put-downs. It also stands for Press, bad press that is. Minnow bashing was quite the thing this year and Bangladesh was the brunt of many Tom, Richie, Warne and their assorted moms complaining about how we are devaluing Test cricket.
Q is for quiet, resounding quiet from these same critics after Cardiff.
R is for Richard McInnes. Proving that he is indeed the Messiah revisionist BD cricket fans made him out to be, our Observer has quickly moved up the ranks of the Aussie national team coaching setup.
S is for Sorry, as in Bangladesh?s sorry performances (if that word can be used) in Sri Lanka. S is also for Supersubs and Super Tests ? two gimmicks foisted upon the public by the aforementioned, greenback obsessed ICC. Come to think of it, both of these ?innovations? were pretty sorry too!
T is for TigerCricket.com. As they say in Bangla, ?nAi mAmAr cheye kAnA mAmAo bhAlo?.1
U is for the Under-19 team. McInnes? wards made a happy transition to his fellow Aussie Al deWinter and took on all comers in 2005 notching 13 wins in 19 outings.
V is veterans for like Md. Rafique who continue to plug away and pick up 5-fers while the glam pace boys are yet to make Ms. Pfeiffer's acquaintance.
W is for Whatmore. That name could very well stand for what more can he give us? We?ve had the papa bear coddling our players to build up their fragile psyches and spring a few (and far between) competitive surprises, but as more of the new generation comes in, the Rasels, the Shahriars et al, perhaps it?s the tough loving of a different Aussie coach that could push Bangladesh to the next level? As a bonus, this Aussie coach is already well familiar with the Tigers and so far he has not shown a propensity to lust after greener pastures whenever one crops up.
X stands for crossing things off. First test win - cross that off. One major upset for the year - cross that off. Break some batting records - cross that off. Strike bowler gets injured - yeah cross that off too. Become a world power in cricket ... hmmm, check back in a few years.
Yis for youth ? One more shout out to the young Turks waiting in the wings. Watch this space for Sakib, Tamim et al.
Z is for Zimbabwe. Yes the place is a mess but they did provide a gripping series with the kind of result Bangladesh had been waiting for. Has 1-oh tasted any sweeter?
1: The bangla expression for T loosely maps to the adage "a bird in hand is worth two in the bush" or, to be more precise, "something is better than nothing". Literally it translates to, " 'tis better to have a blind uncle, than no uncle".
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