Bangladesh need to beat big teams abroad - Boycott
Former England captain Geoffrey Boycott believes Bangladesh's impressive series win over India is not enough "to send waves through the cricket world" since it has come in home conditions. Boycott reckons Bangladesh, who had never beaten India in a series earlier and currently lead 2-0, need to win matches abroad, especially Tests against teams like Australia, South Africa, New Zealand and England.
"They're not quite minnows anymore, they've had one or two good performances but I think we are getting carried away a little bit," Boycott told ESPNcricinfo's Bowl at Boycs. "Beating India occasionally, and Pakistan or Sri Lanka, doesn't send waves through the cricket world. Sorry, I don't want to put a damper on your excitement for Bangladesh but nearly all Bangladesh's good performances are at home. That doesn't make the world of cricket sit up until you go to Australia or South Africa or New Zealand, and beat them in their countries…that will be a huge step and we will all take notice."
Bangladesh have now won 10 ODIs on the trot at home, including series wins against Zimbabwe (5-0) and Pakistan (3-0) before hosting India. During the World Cup they qualified for the quarter-final for the first time by knocking England out with a 15-run win. They had finished fourth in Group A with three wins out of six and one match, against Australia, washed out.
"I accept that one of their very best performances was beating England in Adelaide in the World Cup," Boycott said. "I was there, Bangladesh were superb, I enjoyed their cricket and it's the best I've seen from them. But Bangladesh can't live on just an occasional or odd one-day performance win. They need to go abroad and start winning Test matches against the big boys. As I said, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, England have all got much better Test sides in them in their countries. You've got to go and do that a bit."
Boycott emphasised that the one big advantage Bangladesh have is the hefty ICC funding they have been receiving, that other teams did not when they started out, and the television revenues they earn from the broadcasters. The Bangladesh Cricket Board sold its worldwide media rights to Gazi TV last year for US $20.02 million for a period of six years, and recently sold the team sponsorship rights to Top of Mind, a media planning company, for over $385,000.
"Cricket lovers want Bangladesh to succeed, no doubt about that, but you've got to accept that lots and lots of ICC money has been poured into Bangladesh cricket for many years now," Boycott said. "And quite honestly, we, the cricketing nations of the world, need to see more from them. Bangladesh have a huge cricket-mad population and I realise it takes time to be able to match the big countries. It's always happened like that - it took time for West Indies, New Zealand, Pakistan after partition, even India were not able to match England or Australia on equal terms in the early days. Now they are.
"But none of these countries received a financial help or clout that Bangladesh have had over the years. They've had loads of money. These countries had to make a lot on their own, there wasn't money around, there wasn't television revenue for ICC, or whoever run world cricket, to pour in to India, Pakistan, New Zealand, West Indies when they were in their infancy.
"And Sri Lanka, let me tell you. I've forgotten them but I shouldn't because they've been wonderful…they've won a World Cup. I want them (Bangladesh) to enjoy their success but I don't think you need to get carried away, you need to keep it in perspective because more is required. An occasional one-day is lovely but we need more."
The full version of Bowl at Boycs will go up on Thursday, June 25
Vishal Dikshit is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo