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World Cup 2011

Shakib, Siddons hit back at criticism from former players

Sidharth Monga in Chittagong

March 6, 2011

Comments: 79 | Text size: A | A

Jamie Siddons, the Bangladesh coach, knows life could be harder for his side on the quick pitch at Old Trafford, June 2, 2010
Jamie Siddons: "Players have been disappointed by the past players having their say." © PA Photos

Bangladesh's captain and coach have hit back at the former players who have been criticising the team in newspaper columns and on talk shows on news channels. There has been widespread criticism of the team management after their dismal effort against West Indies - 58 all out. Neither Jamie Siddons nor Shakib Al Hasan pulled punches in response to the criticism.

In a press conference in Chittagong, Siddons said, "We try not to read the paper or listen to what people write. Everybody's got to write, they write what they want. [However], lot of players are disappointed by the past players having their say. And I am disappointed by some of the past players who are saying stuff about me as well. I wish they had the b*** to say that to my face. Some of them are not that courageous."

Shakib expressed his disappointment in a column he wrote in Prothom Alo. Shakib suggested that his team has not performed as badly as the previous teams did. Loosely translated, he wrote, "I don't think there are former players in Bangladesh who have not faced such a humiliation. We have faced such a situation once or twice, but there are former cricketers who have been in such situations often. So everyone needs to think before talking. I am not saying that every former cricketer is trying to run us down. There have been some who have lent out a supporting hand. That has been our biggest boost."

Siddons was more forgiving of the people that threw stones at Shakib's house. "Some people react," Siddons said. "Things happen in every country of the world, after crazy performances like that." That just suggests how irked the team is by the columns and the talk shows.

That is perhaps because there is no doubting that the majority of the crowd has been good and well behaved. "These people are very big supporters of cricket, very big supporters of the Bangladesh cricket team," Siddons said. "I saw nothing different when we drove in today, or yesterday from the airport. Unbelievable support. Everyone was disappointed by our performance, but everyone needs to realise these are the best 15 players in Bangladesh, and they are doing their best. If they have bad performances, that's the way it is. We are trying, we are doing our best. We'll play good cricket against England. Inshaallah."

However, Siddons said that the unrealistic expectations of his side could have played a part in the ugly public reaction and also in the players' failure to play freely. "Yeah I think the expectations are unrealistically high for this World Cup," Siddons said. "Definitely for our team. Two years in, we have improved a lot, but the expectations are high. We were playing at home. We expected it to be a good contest with West Indies. We expected to push them. On that wicket, if we made a decent score or if we bowled first, the result might have been different. Because it spun, it would have helped our bowling against their batting, but we had no runs to play with."

All this, Siddons said, has made the side more determined. "Definitely more determined. And also makes us realise where we are at. We need to improve some things, and we can be - because of our youth and age - up and down. Don't expect us to be that down, though. We have been playing better cricket for the last 12 months, and that was out of the blue. No one expected that, that's why we are so devastated."

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Comments: 79 
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Posted by Krishnan on (March 9, 2011, 19:34 GMT)

Interesting comments being posted, ironically it was the same group of people that put all this pressure on Bangladesh in the first place with all the non sense of them beating the other test playing nations in the group. Bangladesh is a good team but will take a few more years to consistently challenge other test playing nations, every new comer to the arena takes time, Sri Lanka took a while to establish themselves and so did the others. So, the good thing to do is to sit back and enjoy the performance, learn from mistakes and hopefully make it all count in the future events. For Bangladesh to win against SA or Eng, everything has to line up....and even then a win wont materialise unless SA or Eng have a bad day out!

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 8, 2011, 18:00 GMT)

i dont care if tigers loses all three match (allah na koruk). like my country, my flag....i love my cricket team. it may be the worst team of the world still its my team. and i think every bangladeshi should think in the same way

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 8, 2011, 15:30 GMT)

World Cup is not the end of BD Cricket....in 2007 World Cup IND failed to qualify 2nd round nd BD won over IND by 5 wicket on that world cup....but 2day IND is the number two of ICC Ranking...58 is just for a single day...we r looking future...Shakib go ahead...

Posted by Cricket on (March 8, 2011, 15:09 GMT)

I believe BD fans have shown enough patience by sticking with this team from the beginning.It is time for BD team to face the music and own up to its failures.BD team will no go forward if the players and the coach do not hold themselves fully accountable for the dismal performance, which they had shown the other night. I think the players and the coach no longer justified to defend their position and continue to draw a pretty picture for the future of BD cricket.As far as I am concerned,the genie is out of the bottle.If BD management does not recognize the dent on this team now,it might be too late to discover the flaws down the line.I would not be surprised if the BD team continued to display this kind of ridiculous performance in the near and far future unless some drastic actions are taken to address some serious flaws in the current BD team.I think BD team and a lot of the fans are in complete denial of this team's weakness and failures-we will need to admit our flaws and move on.

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 7, 2011, 23:32 GMT)

Hello everyone, can you ladies and gentleman please calm down and think about how should we move on the next game without fighting with each other. All we can do is learn from our previous mistakes carry on to the level.I do not agree with the supporters negative reactions which made us look bad in front the Whole Cricket World. We should've shown some patience.I still have my faith in Bangladesh Cricket Team & I certainly believe that they are capable of doing good job. SO KEEP IT UP TIGERS..........

Posted by Cricket on (March 7, 2011, 23:15 GMT)

Finally, I will say one last thing - Although the players in BD team appear to be young, that should no longer be excuse. These players have been playing cricket for a LONG TIME. Most of them have already played 50+ international matches. If they have not gotten it, yet then, they are never gonna be getting it. I have to and I have to question the ability of these players and I do not buy Jimmy Siddon's comment about these 15 players are the best 15 we have in BD. If the current BD team is that incapable of playing national cricket, we probably need to start from scratch. Let this world cup pass if it hasn't already passed for BD team. Let's come up with a brand new strategy and new set of players and Coach for the future since the current team and the current strategy are creating a big hole for BD cricket. The players and the coach ought be ashamed of themselves for this poor showing as opposed to trying to defend their pathetic positions.

Posted by Cricket on (March 7, 2011, 23:05 GMT)

I have been sick and tired of defending this immature BD team for a long time. I do not think I missed a single day-night game held in BD knowing that I will have to get up in the morning to go to work. There has to be major accountability for this kind of performance displayed by BD team. The reaction from the fan is as precise as it could be - Fans are just fed up with disappointments after disappointments Although Stoning on the bus carrying WI players was unfortunate. No more defending this team until all the players look at themselves on the mirror and ask some tough questions about their characters. We all have to do that in our lives - why not the BD players. I think their heads have been in cloud somewhere up there. As the hardcore fans, who have been involved with this team and its aspiration almost from its inception, are justified to criticize the hack out of this spineless BD team.

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 7, 2011, 22:03 GMT)

I think that Bangladeshi Cricketers know that Bangladesh providing them world class service and facility to bring glory for Bangladesh. The way cricketers played last game......Its just shameful. This is Cricketers duty to produce some good out put that can make Bangladesh delighted. Bangladesh burning a smart amount of its hard earn money for the Cricket Team. So We want some result , we want to see cricketers at least show their guts to fight with any team in then world.

Posted by Rafat on (March 7, 2011, 15:03 GMT)

No matter how you paint this picture, it was still painful to see Bangladesh lose the game the way they did. They are much better team than that. And maybe thats why the fury of their supporters. But that is how the sub-continent supporters are. No matter if it's India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka or Bangladesh. It is something all the cricketers in sub-continent learn to live with. If you are winning they will treat you like a royalty, but if you lose you better be prepared to face the music. The current Bangladeshi team has accomplished so much this year that former cricketers wished it was them. But it's always so easy to criticize others from the sidelines. I am certain Bangladeshi team will rise and prove their metal next time they take the field. Best of luck!!!

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 7, 2011, 13:46 GMT)

to all the indian supporters if bangladesh are so bad then how did they make 300 against your gr8 team and if not for sewhag they would of won that game as for those who are calling for shakibs head you should be ashamed for yourself as there is no better player in bangladesh and there will never be one furthermore it is time siddion started to think out his selection and batting order bangladesh can play this game but with all the pressure on them choked against west indies it is about time that otheres except shakip and tamim start playing cricket instead of just making up numbers come on bangladesh you can do this just fng learn from your mistakes and put tamim down the order to 4 come friday england betta watch out bangladesh will bounce back

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