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Our Middle Order (2007)
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Think not O King,
Thy Scepter, or thy power,
One Moment can arrest,
The destined hour?

Of myths, destiny and loyalty

Published: 10th January, 2005


Whatever will happen, will happen. The hour of destiny has unstoppable power. At this early stage of the fifth day?s fight, I would like to talk to our die-hard fans of Bangladesh cricket. Most of us will say that this is an extremely important match for us, where others will say a win is a guarantee; yet there are others that will say this is a must-win situation, we have to do it TODAY. There are plenty of skepticism on the strength of this Zimbabwean team: ?Battle of the Minnows? is cricinfo? catch phrase for such events. Well, fans, friends, here are some quick thoughts on the outcome of this match. I feel it is essential to share these with my fellow fans:


Announcement: A draw, even a loss is a reality in this fifth day. Draw, because, Taibu and company showed some dogged determination against a bowling that is every bit world class. They have pulled their surprise rabbit out of their hats. Zimbabwe?s first innings was literally the best in career for several of their batsmen. Loss, since we don?t know the enemy game plan. A shock defeat may always be on the horizon. The runs posted are not insurmountable by any means. The capabilities of these young Zimbabwean charges are beyond doubt. They have big hearts. As for the defeatist mindset, Taibu does not recognize the existence of the word in his vocabulary. He remains nonchalant against all odds. Who is to say that Zimbabwe will not take the attack to us? Please keep this in mind.

Strength of the Zimbabwean Team

Only thing lacking from the team is experience. The team is brimming with all the other necessary ingredients contributed to them by a far longer cricket history than ours. Raw talent? They seem to have more than we do. Composure under pressure? They have showed us in their first innings response. Confidence? Taibu himself has enough of the stuff to carry the team through. This Zimbabwean team is almost as prepared as many of the other Test nations. The critics, especially from the English source will fabricate many theories on how this is a weak team. Make no mistake, the only thing that is missing here are some players with pale complexion. The hearts, the talents, the power, the will, all remain ever present in this opponent. So much for the myth of a weak side.

The ?First Test Victory? thing

What if that elusive win happens in the next few hours? One thing for sure, the critics of Bangladesh cricket will immediately jump to cut down our credit, signs of it is already here. It would have taken us just a few short years, which took India, New Zealand and Sri Lanka much much longer. One argument you will hear over and over in discrediting our achievements: These other teams played better, and they were able to enforce draws against their opponents. Yet another myth. Have any of you sat through one of those mundane, boring, lethargic draws? Many of the matches were draw simply because weather enforced them, just like ours. On yet other matches, in earlier times, weaker teams broke records in negative battings, and just staying there since they went into these matches with the draw in mind. England was the champion of anemic, boring version of cricket for a very long time. Cricket was not this high-flying circus with extreme pressure in those days. Yet it took some other Test countries so much time to come of age. They had the money, infrastructure, support and help by other cricket nations. Most of all, they actually had the time to make the best use of these resources in between Test matches. Yet, they had to wait for decades to record the first victory. Bangladesh, on the other hand, was thrown to the deep end. We?ve been learning to swim while drowning, friends. Please don?t try to belittle our victory, just because you could not do it at our speed. We have a handful of hard-working young men with a headful of dreams. Ours is not only a new cricketing nation, it?s even a new country altogether. These men are the true pioneers of our cricket.

Of Celebration

So, let?s say we win this one. A great moment, no doubt. A long awaited moment. A time to express uninhibited joy, jubilation. This is a time to exchange high fives, kudos and even hugs. Finally, we take the 20 scalps necessary to get a win.

I want to lay this hypothesis before you, dear fans. Do you think Bangladesh will beat South Africa or New Zealand in Test? How about Australia? The answer is ?Yes?! We will beat Australia, not once, but numerous time. The theory of possibility and the history of sports will give us a resounding ?YES?. We will beat the likes of Australia in both version of the game, many times in the future.

The point is, this win against Zimbabwe is not an unexpected, overwhelming success. This is the expected result for a hard working, inspired cricketing side. In the year 2004, our cricket, through thick and thin, has taken firm steps towards consistency and consolidation. Plenty of quality cricketers of a new generation are emerging fast. Our support and infrastructure are world class. Presently the cricketing body is busier than honeybees in fixing the domestic cricket. Wins have to come at regular intervals from now on. This is a natural course for a developing cricket nation. We are simply doing it faster than most others did in the past, or even present.

So, please celebrate sensibly and safely. If you happen to be in Dhaka, do be safe. If you are here on the board, be polite and mindful of our international members. Have class, composure and manners. Express your joy with grace; don?t hurt the feeling of others. Please be mindful that there will be many more victories against stronger opponents in our own lifetime.

And if this ends up being an unlikely draw, or even, dare I say defeat, just remember, the only thing we should look forward to would be the next Test match in Dhaka. Our young team is working hard on a daily basis to establish our credibility. You can be assured of one thing, we are indeed improving. That?s what counts.

Now, go and get out your red and green flag, it seems you will be looking all over for it in a few hours.


About the author(s): Besides authoring witty and informative articles on Bangladesh cricket, Masum Billah contributes and shares much more of his insights on our forums, where he goes by the nick "billah".


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