July 17, 2003

Trevor Chappell speaks out for Bangladesh

Wisden CricInfo staff

Trevor Chappell, Bangladesh's former coach, believes they are capable of becoming one of the world's leading cricket nations, but in the meantime they must overcome several problems.

Chappell coached the team for a year until late 2002, and rated their prospects highly despite their lowly start to international cricket. "From the point of view of talent and numbers playing the game, they could be the next Pakistan," he said. "Kids are playing [cricket] in any vacant land they can find. They have natural flair."

"But the struggle for land is significant. Half the country is under water most of the time, then when its monsoon time that probably goes to 80 percent. There is not a lot of spare ground for building cricket grounds."

The weather, unfortunately, is not Bangladesh's only stumbling block. "Their administrators talk a good game," added Chappell, "but nothing much happens. Every wicket is low and slow. It is hard to learn good cricket on those sorts of wickets. And their domestic competition is not non-existent, but close to it."

Chappell reported that when the team arrived at Allan Border Field in Brisbane, they practiced for four hours because they had never seen facilities like that before in their lives. "You have these sorts of thing in Australia where volunteers and teachers bring lunches and umpire and score," said Chappell. "In Bangladesh most people are more worried about where their next feed is coming from than anything else."