December 12, 2011

Bangla cricket

Bangladesh are going backwards

Cricinfo
Mohammad Ashraful's torrid run continued when he played down the wrong line to Ajmal Shahzad, Bangladesh A v England XI, tour match, Chittagong, 3rd day, March 9, 2010
Mohammad Ashraful's career sums up Bangladesh's performance over the last decade: plenty of promise but not much success due to dodgy technique and temperament  © BCB Media
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From Daniel Stone, United Kingdom

Bangladesh's Test match status has been debated ever since they were awarded full membership by the ICC a little over 11 years ago. Bangladesh played their first Test match in November 2000, and since then have won just three of 72 matches, with a staggering 62 losses. Even those three wins were not much to cheer about, as they came against Zimbabwe and a severely weakened West Indies team.

The team has shown some signs of improvement in ODI cricket over the last few years with a few surprise victories – the 4-0 drubbing of New Zealand at home last October, for example – but in 2011, it has been clear that they are actually taking backward steps.

Bangladesh are too reliant on their world-class allrounder, Shakib Al Hasan, and Tamim Iqbal, one of Wisden’s five cricketers of 2010. Talented youngsters like Mahmudullah and Nasir Hossain have shown encouraging signs, but Bangladesh just don't have enough star players to compete with the more established teams.

Mohammad Ashraful's career sums up Bangladesh's performance over the last decade. He showed plenty of promise and was obviously very talented, but he couldn't kick on after a good start due to dodgy technique and temperament. Their 2011 World Cup campaign resulted in them being bowled out for under 100 twice, including an embarrassing 58 all out in Mirpur against an average West Indies attack.

If Bangladesh are severely struggling in their favoured format, then it doesn't bode well for their Test future. There are many areas of concern, but their main problem is the batting. Tamim, seemingly, has tried to emulate Virender Sehwag by scoring run-a-ball centuries and he has been reasonably successful in his short international career to date. Consistency is where he and his team-mates falter.

The batsmen might produce the odd wonder innings but more often than not they fall early in their innings. This is why most of their batting averages are down in the 20s. The batsmen fail to knuckle down and grind out an innings, and this lack of fight is very disappointing to cricket fans around the world. It's as if they don't want to be out there in the middle.

However, it isn't just the batting that is sub-standard. Their bowling also lacks the firepower that is needed for Test cricket. The seam attack is virtually non-existent and five-wicket hauls are as rare as wins. Shakib is a highly skilled spinner, but that he outshines his team-mates even in this aspect is not something to be celebrated.

These cricketers obviously have plenty of talent but during their international careers, they haven't converted that promise into match-winning performances, meaning Bangladesh remain at the bottom of the ladder. That Zimbabwe are showing signs of improvement on their return to Test cricket only heightens the challenge that Bangladesh face. While most countries around them are improving, they appear to be in steady decline.

It is a very sad situation that Bangladeshi cricket is in. Many cricket fans have been willing them to do well over the past decade, but many have now lost faith in the subcontinent outfit. It is likely that they are going nowhere.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by choudhury rashid on (December 13, 2011, 15:06 GMT)

strong school cricket and first class cricket are the keys to improve.

Posted by Quazi on (December 13, 2011, 14:47 GMT)

When incompetent administrators, specifically around lack of cricket playing experiences, are at the helm, this is a reality. On top of that the political influence over the BCCB, has been a huge factor behind the performance of the last decade. BCCB made a huge error when they let the last National Coach go. Now with the new Coach and the staff, we are in another set of experimentation.

The team selection for the recent Test to include Ashraful is a slap to every single Bangladeshi cricketer. I admire Ashraful for his contribution to Bangladesh cricket during his first decade in international cricket. But in no shape or form he qualifies for the Test team. One could justify his candicacy for the ODI.

Tamim has to be invested for the long run, he has to play his free form style.

We have to bring righeous selection criteria, in the short term. For the long term, Bangladesh has to keep tilling for the future. To the Bangladeshi player, play united, play as one.

Posted by M.SAEED on (December 13, 2011, 13:30 GMT)

BANGLADESH surly have TEL-LENT but need is to GIVE them another chance of growth. Favoritism in team selection may b one reason of failure.

Posted by mike on (December 13, 2011, 12:14 GMT)

By all means keep them in the 50 and 20 over international programme but at test level they are an embarresment. The last test was a perfect example, getting bowled out for 135 on a featherbed. They need to spend the next 5 years just playing in the County circuit or the Pura cup, if they can start defeating counties/state sides on a regular basis then they can make tentative steps back into full test status. At the moment it is a waste of their time and everyone who plays them. They just aren't good enough.

Posted by Ben Jamis on (December 13, 2011, 10:45 GMT)

I think Ash is the best for T20 cricket. thanks :)

Posted by Junaid (Bradford-UK) on (December 13, 2011, 10:07 GMT)

A very well written article which sums all the difficulties Bangladesh Cricket are facing. I believe that Bangladesh will become a stronger side in the future, however at this present time they must only concentrate on Odi's and 20 20 cricket.Test matches unfortunately is something ICC must act now and remove their test status as its killing the interest of all the supporters of Cricket. This will be an inspiring move for Bangladesh cricket as they will come back strongly from the crisis they facing in test cricket.

Posted by Raj on (December 13, 2011, 9:37 GMT)

There Test Status is disgrace to the game.At least uplift there test status for 5 year and force them to rebuild(or i say build) there domestic cricket structure.

Posted by Shahid on (December 13, 2011, 9:03 GMT)

In personal opinion, ICC should seriously think about making test cricket more competitive and Bangalish's perfomance in test crickt would not help the cause. Bangladeh does not deserve to hold the test staus any more. Test Cricket is still the best format of cricket which is a realy test of skills, technique and temprament. If a team fails to show above par results which Bangladesh is doing from last more than a decade, to save the Test format, such teams do not deserve to be given the test staus.

Posted by Jashan on (December 13, 2011, 7:50 GMT)

This is absolutely true. It is high time ICC goes for a 2 Tier Test System

Tier 1:- Ind, Pak, SL, Aus, Eng, SA, NZ & WI Tier 2:- BD, Zim, Ire, Afg, Can, Neth, Ken & Scot

At the end of 4 years the bottom 2 of Tier 1 play against the Top 2 of Tier 2. Out of the 4 nations the Top 2 in that tournament get Tier 1 for 4 years while bottom 2 get relegated to Tier 2.

The Bottom 2 of Tier 2 also get relegated back into World Cricket League and replaced by top 2 nations of WCL. This way the nations will take cricket seriously. The funding should also be altered in the same way

Posted by Nooman Sheikh on (December 13, 2011, 7:47 GMT)

Domestic structure is the foundation of the cricket team's performance in the international level. If this foundation is lais strong the team would be more competitive. Bangladesh clearly lack fast bowlers in my opinion which makes the entire burden on their batting which is alone not satisfying enough. India's main strength is batting but you need fast bowlers to defend the score or to restrict the opposite side. Moreover good fast bowlers also give good practise to the batsmen. I think Bangladesh should appoint exclusive fast bowlers coaches on under 17 level, under 19 level & international level to enhance the game. Bangladesh is a cricket loving country & ICC members should step forward. Afterall it is the cricket we are talking about.

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