Planning correctly is the first step towards tackling any process. Sound planning
and implementation are needed in order to get any positive results. We probably
know what the BCB has to do for the long term to develop the standard of cricket
in Bangladesh. Enough has been written on that already. Reform domestic structure
(decentralize), create bouncy pitches, have competent coaches for the regional
teams, have more meaningful FC matches, add quality foreign players to enhance
the standards etc.should all be considered as the long term goals. I want to
focus on the short-term goals. It is not enough just to set these goals, we have
to plan to meet these goals.
These are steps that the BCB can take which would rescue us from embarrassments.
We must learn from the past.
- When we went to Australia for the first time, Dav Whatmore specifically
wanted the team there a month before the real competition began. They
played few practice matches and got accustomed to the conditions. The over-performance
was more than what any one could have expected. Aussie Captain Steve Waugh
was happy to say that Bangladesh has coped and played better than several
Test nations (referring to WI and Pakistan).
- Fast foward to WC2007. We were the first team to arrive in the Caribbean.
We played more matches and became familiar with the conditions again. To me
that was the key behind the unexpected trip to the Super Eights.
These positive results were the outcome of the short-term planning that we
executed effectively. Similar steps are required to extract the best performances
with our young players. BCB should send the Bangladesh team a month
early to New Zealand and arrange a few first class matches with provincial teams.
The purpose would be to get familiar with the condition and build temperament
before the Test and ODI series. After the recent debacle against Sri Lanka,
a thorough planning is very much needed. For any outside the sub-continent tour,
I believe this early arrival and additional practice matches in the foreign land are necessary if we want to show some credible performances.
According to the future tour programs, Bangladesh is scheduled to play 2 Tests
and 3 one-day matches in New Zealand. The tour starts with a 3 day match on
19th December. I would strongly suggest that Bangladesh should make proper arrangements
to reach there at least couple of weeks earlier. This early arrival would allow
them to play a few more matches against local first class sides. I do not think
this would be hard to pencil in. One issue would be the expense for those extra
days. If Cricket New Zealand is not ready to pick up the tab, I'd say BCB should pay
for the much needed extra time . This is for our own good. So Bangladesh
team departing around the 1st or 2nd December would be ideal.
Current NZ schedule:
|Wed 19 - Fri 21
||3 Day warm-up
||Seddon Park, Hamilton
||1 Day warm-up
||Seddon Park, Hamilton
||ODI 1 (d/n)
||Eden Park, Auckland
||McLean Park, Napier
||Queenstown Events Centre
|Fri 4 - Tue 8
||University Oval, Dunedin
|Sat 12 - Wed 16
||Basin Reserve, Wellington
The trickle effect 1 - National camp
This dictates a minimum of two weeks of camp for the national players starting
in the mid November. So the selectors would have to choose the players for the
tour no later than November 10th.
The trickle effect 2 - Domestic league play
Unfortunately, starting a camp that early may not allow national players to
participate in the domestic league. They might get one or two matches before
the camp. This puts a sour taste to all those who were wiling to see some action
by the players in the domestic league before the New Zealand tour. At the same
time, selectors would not have the luxury to see who is in-form and who is not
on the basis of domestic performances.
A lot of things should be considered before taking this is as a good short-term
plan. I myself want to see the national players participation in the domestic
cricket before the selection of the New Zealand tour. So I propose the following
to the BCB for the greater interest of Bangladesh cricket
- Advance our domestic cricket schedule at least by a month if not more. Starting
the first class league around the end of September or beginning of October
would be helpful to the selectors to make crucial decisions.
- Make sure the Bangladesh team leaves for New Zealand by December 1st or
- Arrange extra practice matches with local first class teams as soon as the
team reaches New Zealand.
Only then can we demand better performance from the players whoever is chosen
following a transparent selection procedure. Managing an organization is not
that easy. Time is of the essence here. The sooner these steps are taken, the
better it is for the players, coaches, selectors, BCB, team's performance and our beloved country.