November 15, 2010

Ten tough years in Test cricket

To dwell on Bangladesh's failings would be inappropriate on such a notable anniversary, especially at a time when they are awash with the sort of optimism not seen since those heady first moments
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Ten years ago this week, the Bangabandhu National Stadium in Dhaka played host to an event that the then-president of the Bangladesh Cricket Board, Saber Chowdhury, described as the third-most important in the nation's brief but troubled history. Such hyperbole may be standard in the self-aggrandising world of sports administration, but incredibly, on this occasion, it was hard to quibble with such an assessment.

As a squad of paratroopers drifted into the stadium to deliver the flags of each of the ten Test-playing nations - including, to massive acclaim, the red-and-green colours of the newest recruit - realisation dawned among the 40,000 spectators who had gathered to witness the opening day of Bangladesh's inaugural Test match against India. Less than three decades after a bloody war of liberation had left the nation traumatised and face-down in the global gutter, Bangladesh had secured entry into a singularly elite club.

The elation of the occasion lasted for roughly three-and-a-half days, which was time enough for Aminul Islam to etch his name into folklore with his country's maiden century, and for Bangladesh's then-coach Eddie Barlow, immobilised by a stroke but sharp in all other respects, to be vindicated in his belief that the team would reach 400 at the first attempt. India, however, reeled that total in before edging into the lead, whereupon all resistance crumbled - 91 all out and a nine-wicket defeat set the agenda for the decade of beating that would follow.

To dwell on the minutiae of Bangladesh's failings would be inappropriate on such a notable anniversary, especially at a time in their history when they are awash with the sort of optimism not seen since those heady first moments ten years ago. Their four consecutive wins in last month's ODI series against New Zealand mean that, for what it is worth, Bangladesh can lay a spurious claim to being the form team in world cricket. With the 2011 World Cup now just three months round the corner, cautious expectation is the order of the day, especially with the prospect of six home games from which to press for a quarter-final berth.

But regardless of how they fare in February and March, there is no escaping Bangladesh's past, and nor should there be. With privilege comes responsibility, especially in Test cricket, a form of the game that Bangladesh have consistently (if inadvertently) undermined through the paucity of their returns. In fairness, they've made impressive strides in recent months, taking a succession of games deep into the fifth day as they first learn how not to lose before translating that knowhow into a pursuit of victory. But a tally of 59 defeats in 68 Tests tells its own story, as do a trio of victories against under-strength opponents.

It is a state of affairs that has cheapened the record books and undermined the USP of five-day cricket - namely that it is the toughest test of skill that any player could wish to encounter. Instead, in one of their more humiliating early outings in 2002, two Sri Lankan batsmen chose to retire bored after reaching their hundreds. Even the team's most ardent supporters now accept that the country was promoted before it was remotely ready, lacking as it did a viable first-class structure and even such basics as proper practice facilities for the national squad.

To blame Bangladesh for that initial failing, however, is like punishing a toddler for flunking its A-levels. Had the ICC felt it necessary to set a time-frame for Bangladesh's accession, instead of rushing their application through on the strength of a solitary (and extremely dubious) dead-rubber World Cup victory against Pakistan at Northampton in 1999, they might well have decided that a ten-year development programme and a November 2010 promotion was a more realistic date for which to aim.

Had they done so, they might well have encountered a battle-hardened squad boasting the sort of world-class players that Tamim Iqbal and Shakib Al Hasan have become, as well as a cast of reliable sidekicks such as the wicketkeeper Mushfiqur Rahim, upon whom expectations can be heaped without any fear that he will crack.

But of course the ICC did not. Instead India, whose support for their fledgling neighbour is so underwhelming that they have never yet hosted Bangladesh in a bilateral contest of any length, gladly took receipt of an extra ICC vote, and with a four-square Asian Bloc behind them, set about transforming the priorities of the world game. When Bangladesh's quest for self-worth collided with India's pursuit of self-interest, a marriage of expediency ensued, and an erosion of the game's traditional values has been in evidence ever since.

To blame Bangladesh for their initial failing, is like punishing a toddler for flunking its A-levels

Nevertheless, the passion that Bangladesh puts into its cricket cannot be under-estimated, and nor indeed can the country's sheer volume of support. Those who have witnessed the unfettered joy that accompanies every rare victory will confirm ad nauseum how much potential lurks within the country, and as the standards of the national team have begun to rise, so too have the levels of interest and participation among the average punters on the street, many of whom had never paid any attention to cricket prior to 2000.

There is so much more that can and needs to be done to broaden the net within Bangladesh when it comes to international recognition. There are too few clubs with any links to the BCB, and hence no way for talented youngsters to make themselves known other than through luck, but overall the graph is heading upwards for the country, in a way that cannot be said for too many of the other Test nations.

The future looks especially bleak for the internecine West Indies and the exiled Pakistan; New Zealand is experiencing a crisis of relevance in the modern game, and if Zimbabwe's rehabilitation is finally in full swing, then South Africa's search for an heir to Makhaya Ntini could be the story of their coming decade.

By contrast Bangladesh - with their massive population and saintly levels of internal goodwill - could be said to have it easy. What that says about the game of which they are a part, however, is another question entirely.

Andrew Miller is UK editor of Cricinfo.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY Quick_Single on | November 17, 2010, 0:24 GMT

    Andrew - good article and right on many points - they simply weren't ready and you're right that the ICC should have had a better plan for introducing them to the game rather than the policy of laissez faire - which could have destroyed cricket in Bangladesh before it ven started.

    It is a true compliment to the players and supporters that they still play (and support) with exuberance and passion despite 10 years of getting battered and much respect for that. In fact - as you rightly point out - the game needs this enthusiasm now more than ever!

    Sadly I fear that unless the administration and systems are sorted out, there won't be the production line of talent that's needed to sustain a top quality test team, but perhaps they'll be able to find just enough diamonds in the rough to keep going.

  • POSTED BY gmaurup on | November 16, 2010, 21:11 GMT

    Nice one Mr. miller. Though the results are bad, I do not think a 10 year development program would have helped Bangladesh given the fact 3-4 different generations of cricketers perished though the bitterness of huge defeats (Bangladesh distributed a whopping 60 odd test caps so far). May be a five year development program with certain promise in FTP could have been better options. A 10 year development program without promise of accommodation in FTP would mean nothing (may be Akram Khan would have been found developing the teenish average to twentyish... not his TIGER nephew Tamim bashing bowlers around the globe) Shakib, Tamim, Mushfiqur and Razzak are playing since 2007 WC and is the nucleus for years to come. Nafees, Ashraful and Mashrafee are there from before that. Junaid, Imrul, Mahmudullah are showing signs of patience to build innings. Shafiul and Rubel are hitting 140 kph on a regular basis and seem to matured as fast bowlers. Believe me future is simply bright.

  • POSTED BY dulabhai on | November 16, 2010, 21:04 GMT

    Don't forget how long it took other countries to get the taste of first test win. Bangladesh is not doing bad. They just need some help from other top test playing countries and some unbiased umpiring. Instead of critisizing Bangladesh, lets get countries like Australia and India to play at least one test series with Bangladesh every year.

  • POSTED BY Nipun on | November 16, 2010, 20:26 GMT

    @Rezaul:-Yes,Bangladesh has often been at the receiving end of umpiring howlers,but their test stats don't lie my friend!& although I don't respect Sehwag's arrogance,he is damn right-Bangladesh is indeed an ordinary side.& who are we to criticise Dravid like the way you did?You disrespect a guy with a test average of 52+ in about 150 tests at your own peril,isn't it? :)

  • POSTED BY muski on | November 16, 2010, 13:01 GMT

    @JS82- Your statistical point is taken about India- Bangla 20 year progress. The love and the passion for the game should bring in talented youngsters who will perform consistently. In any field the money only follows the performance and not vice versa. How did cricket become a mania in India. I think it was after our world cup win in 1983. This was the jolt a nation starved of sporting success badly required. Ever since we have not looked back. This mania has bought in money and with money the power. That is how you find India controlling world cricket today. All that Iam saying is that the dilution of test cricket if one team becomes the whipping team of rest of the world. For all you know Bangla may be one in the top 5 test sides in the next 10 years. However one does not see any light on the horizon to even remotely bet on it. All the best to you folks who are passionate about Bangla cricket.

  • POSTED BY Chunati on | November 16, 2010, 4:32 GMT

    Wahid, you make a very good point of Bangladesh not getting the use of BOTH home umpires like it used to be before.Your take on the fact that most cricket matches end in a result nowadays has not also gone in Bangladesh's favor.But I truly believe we really have a long way to go in test matches.However, it is not true that Bangladesh would be better prepared if they were given test status 10 years later.The Tamim's and Shakib's would never even develop to what they are now. Who would want to play for a team that did not have a future?Would the top teams visit Bangladesh?It is a shame that India have yet to invite Bangladesh. When Bangladesh plays in Australia and South Africa too many people do not go to watch them, either, but those countries respect their commitment to World cricket. ICC really has no control over India.It is sad that players like Gayle and others put more emphasis on T20 for money only.Things like IPL will make some cricketers very rich, but is destroying cricket.

  • POSTED BY Meety on | November 16, 2010, 3:00 GMT

    @Pari2109 - re: Sehwags comments, India struggled in that game! The fact is the Bangars are improving. I think Bangladesh are where SL was a few years before the 1996 World Cup. I won't be surprised if the Bangars start knocking off teams touring there soon. I think they have the nucleus of a good side, probably need to get one more pace bowler & one more quality batsmen. The other issue I see is - what role is Mahmudullah? Is he a batsmen who bowls handy spells, or a bowler who is very handy with the bat? I see him playing below Shakib in the batting line up yet doesn't bowl as much as Shakib.

  • POSTED BY on | November 16, 2010, 2:31 GMT

    They now have two definite world-class players. Tamim Iqbal is an explosive opening batsman much like Gayle/Sehwag, and Shakib-Al-Hasan is a brilliant spin-bowling allrounder.

    They have always had relatively servicable spinners, but the big question mark is their pace attack. Both Rubel and Shadahat have had outstanding matches but they are too few and far between. Shafiul Islam and Nazum Hossain are question marks, and Mashrafe and Rasel seem to be more in than out.

    I like the potential of Raqibul Hasan, Junaid Siddique, Imrul Kayes, but they need more consistency.

  • POSTED BY JS82 on | November 16, 2010, 1:57 GMT

    @muski - By dropping Bangladesh from test status, what would cricket gain? If the motto of test cricket is to keep it amongst the handful then why did anyone but England and Australia were ever granted test status? Bangladesh will be a competitive test side soon. We are not a big country with the IPL money to develop infrastructure and players. With limited resources we are making good strides. I think SriLanka should be a role model for us. They are also a small nation with limited resources but does very well.

    India's record from 1932 to 1952 was not any better than Bangladesh. India won only 3 test matches in 20 years. Bangladesh won 3 test matches in 10 years. See statsguru here:- http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/stats/index.html?class=1;spanmax2=31+DEC+1952;spanmin2=1+JAN+1932;spanval2=span;team=6;template=results;type=team . I know it's not a fair comparison since things were different back then but I am not sure how else you can do comparison of progress.

  • POSTED BY _NEUTRAL_Fan_ on | November 16, 2010, 1:20 GMT

    Why all this delusional blame of umpires?! Grow up people. Umps r human and make mistakes vs ALL teams. You tend to only notice errors vs your team and then clog up Cricinfo's comment section with the nonsensical accusations. Anyway...the writer is correct, Bang would have benefited more from a 10 yr plan than being thrus into test cricket 10 yrs ago. They are now beginning to look like a unit capable of winning regular ODI's. Hopefully they will soon be able to draw tests and from there win a few. The talent is there.

  • POSTED BY Quick_Single on | November 17, 2010, 0:24 GMT

    Andrew - good article and right on many points - they simply weren't ready and you're right that the ICC should have had a better plan for introducing them to the game rather than the policy of laissez faire - which could have destroyed cricket in Bangladesh before it ven started.

    It is a true compliment to the players and supporters that they still play (and support) with exuberance and passion despite 10 years of getting battered and much respect for that. In fact - as you rightly point out - the game needs this enthusiasm now more than ever!

    Sadly I fear that unless the administration and systems are sorted out, there won't be the production line of talent that's needed to sustain a top quality test team, but perhaps they'll be able to find just enough diamonds in the rough to keep going.

  • POSTED BY gmaurup on | November 16, 2010, 21:11 GMT

    Nice one Mr. miller. Though the results are bad, I do not think a 10 year development program would have helped Bangladesh given the fact 3-4 different generations of cricketers perished though the bitterness of huge defeats (Bangladesh distributed a whopping 60 odd test caps so far). May be a five year development program with certain promise in FTP could have been better options. A 10 year development program without promise of accommodation in FTP would mean nothing (may be Akram Khan would have been found developing the teenish average to twentyish... not his TIGER nephew Tamim bashing bowlers around the globe) Shakib, Tamim, Mushfiqur and Razzak are playing since 2007 WC and is the nucleus for years to come. Nafees, Ashraful and Mashrafee are there from before that. Junaid, Imrul, Mahmudullah are showing signs of patience to build innings. Shafiul and Rubel are hitting 140 kph on a regular basis and seem to matured as fast bowlers. Believe me future is simply bright.

  • POSTED BY dulabhai on | November 16, 2010, 21:04 GMT

    Don't forget how long it took other countries to get the taste of first test win. Bangladesh is not doing bad. They just need some help from other top test playing countries and some unbiased umpiring. Instead of critisizing Bangladesh, lets get countries like Australia and India to play at least one test series with Bangladesh every year.

  • POSTED BY Nipun on | November 16, 2010, 20:26 GMT

    @Rezaul:-Yes,Bangladesh has often been at the receiving end of umpiring howlers,but their test stats don't lie my friend!& although I don't respect Sehwag's arrogance,he is damn right-Bangladesh is indeed an ordinary side.& who are we to criticise Dravid like the way you did?You disrespect a guy with a test average of 52+ in about 150 tests at your own peril,isn't it? :)

  • POSTED BY muski on | November 16, 2010, 13:01 GMT

    @JS82- Your statistical point is taken about India- Bangla 20 year progress. The love and the passion for the game should bring in talented youngsters who will perform consistently. In any field the money only follows the performance and not vice versa. How did cricket become a mania in India. I think it was after our world cup win in 1983. This was the jolt a nation starved of sporting success badly required. Ever since we have not looked back. This mania has bought in money and with money the power. That is how you find India controlling world cricket today. All that Iam saying is that the dilution of test cricket if one team becomes the whipping team of rest of the world. For all you know Bangla may be one in the top 5 test sides in the next 10 years. However one does not see any light on the horizon to even remotely bet on it. All the best to you folks who are passionate about Bangla cricket.

  • POSTED BY Chunati on | November 16, 2010, 4:32 GMT

    Wahid, you make a very good point of Bangladesh not getting the use of BOTH home umpires like it used to be before.Your take on the fact that most cricket matches end in a result nowadays has not also gone in Bangladesh's favor.But I truly believe we really have a long way to go in test matches.However, it is not true that Bangladesh would be better prepared if they were given test status 10 years later.The Tamim's and Shakib's would never even develop to what they are now. Who would want to play for a team that did not have a future?Would the top teams visit Bangladesh?It is a shame that India have yet to invite Bangladesh. When Bangladesh plays in Australia and South Africa too many people do not go to watch them, either, but those countries respect their commitment to World cricket. ICC really has no control over India.It is sad that players like Gayle and others put more emphasis on T20 for money only.Things like IPL will make some cricketers very rich, but is destroying cricket.

  • POSTED BY Meety on | November 16, 2010, 3:00 GMT

    @Pari2109 - re: Sehwags comments, India struggled in that game! The fact is the Bangars are improving. I think Bangladesh are where SL was a few years before the 1996 World Cup. I won't be surprised if the Bangars start knocking off teams touring there soon. I think they have the nucleus of a good side, probably need to get one more pace bowler & one more quality batsmen. The other issue I see is - what role is Mahmudullah? Is he a batsmen who bowls handy spells, or a bowler who is very handy with the bat? I see him playing below Shakib in the batting line up yet doesn't bowl as much as Shakib.

  • POSTED BY on | November 16, 2010, 2:31 GMT

    They now have two definite world-class players. Tamim Iqbal is an explosive opening batsman much like Gayle/Sehwag, and Shakib-Al-Hasan is a brilliant spin-bowling allrounder.

    They have always had relatively servicable spinners, but the big question mark is their pace attack. Both Rubel and Shadahat have had outstanding matches but they are too few and far between. Shafiul Islam and Nazum Hossain are question marks, and Mashrafe and Rasel seem to be more in than out.

    I like the potential of Raqibul Hasan, Junaid Siddique, Imrul Kayes, but they need more consistency.

  • POSTED BY JS82 on | November 16, 2010, 1:57 GMT

    @muski - By dropping Bangladesh from test status, what would cricket gain? If the motto of test cricket is to keep it amongst the handful then why did anyone but England and Australia were ever granted test status? Bangladesh will be a competitive test side soon. We are not a big country with the IPL money to develop infrastructure and players. With limited resources we are making good strides. I think SriLanka should be a role model for us. They are also a small nation with limited resources but does very well.

    India's record from 1932 to 1952 was not any better than Bangladesh. India won only 3 test matches in 20 years. Bangladesh won 3 test matches in 10 years. See statsguru here:- http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/stats/index.html?class=1;spanmax2=31+DEC+1952;spanmin2=1+JAN+1932;spanval2=span;team=6;template=results;type=team . I know it's not a fair comparison since things were different back then but I am not sure how else you can do comparison of progress.

  • POSTED BY _NEUTRAL_Fan_ on | November 16, 2010, 1:20 GMT

    Why all this delusional blame of umpires?! Grow up people. Umps r human and make mistakes vs ALL teams. You tend to only notice errors vs your team and then clog up Cricinfo's comment section with the nonsensical accusations. Anyway...the writer is correct, Bang would have benefited more from a 10 yr plan than being thrus into test cricket 10 yrs ago. They are now beginning to look like a unit capable of winning regular ODI's. Hopefully they will soon be able to draw tests and from there win a few. The talent is there.

  • POSTED BY njr1330 on | November 16, 2010, 0:22 GMT

    This summer, I took my 2 boys to the Saturday of the Old Trafford Test. There, they saw Tamim Iqbal murder the England bowling attack, as though he was the Master giving a lesson to some naughty and clueless schoolboys. Things...as they say....canonly get better!

    P.S. the ground was also full.

  • POSTED BY Rezaul on | November 15, 2010, 23:06 GMT

    @Pari2109, Sehwag ate his own words at the end of first day of that Chittagong test when India was trembling on 200 odd runs losing 8 wickets and sent Sachin to the press conference to tackle his countrymen journalists. And by the way, how is Dravid now? Does he need extra protection to bat against fast bowlers! I cant wait for India to come at Mirpur and play the world cup game against Bangladesh. Let me remind you, Sehwag also called Raasthan Royals an ordinary team which has players like Warne, Smith, Watson, M Morkel, Johan Botha, Y Pathan, Tait and co. They own first IPL and If this team is ordinary then I have nothing to say. Its Sehwag's habit to call opposition ordinary. It is another stupidity to refer his calling.

  • POSTED BY Rezaul on | November 15, 2010, 22:47 GMT

    Hi Andrew, I agree with you at some extent that Bangladesh did fail in test level to perform as per the expectation. However they are coming strongly. Look at their performance in last year or so both in tests and ODIs they seem to be a different team than the one played earlier. We should not forget that umpiring decisions always being hunting Bangladesh team from the very beginning. Remember, Bangladesh would have won first test against Pakistan at 2003 in Multan had better umpiring decisions were provided. The bad umpiring is continuing from Bashar to Shakib from the onset of the new test team. I think you missed this crucial point in your analysis. Except that Bangladesh is a very strong team in ODI and T20 format. Tamim, Shakib, Nafees, Mahmudullah, Mashrafee, Razzaq, Rubel and co will come up as a real threat to the top teams in this world cup. Just wait and see how they perform. Good luck tigers. Keep going.

  • POSTED BY GeekyCricket on | November 15, 2010, 22:13 GMT

    With due to respect to bangladesh and its supporters. Though Bangladesh are a very good one day and T-20 side.They still have a lot to improve with their test cricket. At the momment, they are not able to play consistent cricket over 5 days. Not in the 10 years of test cricket, they looked like they were going to win a test series. With so much emphasis on T20 these days, wonder if they will become a force in test cricket.I remember sehwag calling them a ordinary side,it wasn't a statement of arrogance, he simply didn't see bangladesh taking 20 wickets.Maybe it will be another 10 years for them to become a good test team.

  • POSTED BY on | November 15, 2010, 21:33 GMT

    Well they have the potential and the players to win tournaments, but they need to make pitches that are conductive to both fast-bowlers and spinners. The current overly-spin friendly tracks mean that their fast bowlers' confidence will be dented and cripple their ability to win matches overseas! And most importantly, they should not get carried away by one clean sweep and focus on improving their top order, which often collapses(Tamim being the exception) and leaves a lot to do for the middle/lower middle order players like Shakib, Mortaza and the like.

  • POSTED BY on | November 15, 2010, 18:17 GMT

    @ Andrew Miller....and we in Bangladesh, even miss A-Levels exams at times just not to miss watching a Bangladesh home series game live at the stadium.....that's how our passion goes for cricket...:P:P :)

  • POSTED BY on | November 15, 2010, 18:17 GMT

    i agree with kryon...because the standard of cricket in the countries which are not playing test cricket are not of very high quality.recently we have heard that icc will let only 10 teams participate in the 50 over world cup..!!!!!....grow up icc.....without test cricket..no country can produce good players....If it wants to increase the popularity and the market of cricket......it has to promote test cricket to more nations..send the 1st class teams of australia,south africa to these countries...send the test playing nations to play odi there..it will increase the interest of the game and the skills of players of the associates...sadly the icc does not show the motive...

  • POSTED BY saladin3 on | November 15, 2010, 18:16 GMT

    As a Bangladeshi I fully agree with you that it was a premature test status 10 yrs back. ICC should have played more positive role instead of pushing a cricket team that was not at all ready for the 5 days version of the game. 10 years ago, Bangladesh should have been given the opportunity to play more first class cricket like playing 4-days match against the top Test cricketing nation's A team. ICC should set the same plans for other associate nation like Ireland, Nether lands so on... Had ICC set the same plans 10yrs ago for Bangladesh...it didn't have to face this embarrassing some years in test cricket.

  • POSTED BY muski on | November 15, 2010, 15:49 GMT

    To all Bangladesh cricket lovers- With no offence to you guys, Bangla Test Cricket has gone from bad to worse. Right from Greenidge to Whatmore all have tried their very best to no avail. A certain Habibul Bashar or Ashraful or the bowler whom KKR hired is not going to win you test matches. I certainly wont watch a Test match between India and Bangladesh even if given a free ticket.@ Ahsik Imram- if what you say becomes a reality that is bye bye to test cricket. Imagine Scotland and Netherlands into test cricket. Lets not belittle the glorious game of test cricket. Iam all of ICC removing BCB from test status if they dont pull up their socks in terms of performance.

  • POSTED BY on | November 15, 2010, 15:09 GMT

    As always nice article. But if i may share some of my thoughts...after achieving test status and full ODI status a decade ago,in ODI cricket,Bangladesh is exactly where they were expected and anticipated to be.No media of any test nation will consider Bangladesh as 'minnow' anymore.BD earned that respect by their performance in the field not by inter-icc politics, not by any artificial hype created by the media. But only in ODI cricket.

  • POSTED BY Sukumar_Kantri on | November 15, 2010, 15:04 GMT

    Mr Miller- for your kind information, when Bangladesh attained test staus, it had aminul islam,kaled mahmud,khaled mashud,mohammed rafique who shouldered their team. but poor umpiring decisions and a biased nature towards them halted thier progress for a while.. then came nafees now tamim... sakib,razzak,mahmadullah,rahim,mortaza are doing a decent job now... very often they scored well in 1st innings but they need to score same level in 2nd innings too!!!! Remeber that its just 10 years... Teams like India,new zealand,south africa,west indies took long time to settle back... see the status of WI now, it had been ruling world of cricket in 70's & 80's but now hardly getting a win in test match. same case with NZ again.. Aus had dropped to 5th spot.... who imagined all these would happen???? pls stop writing biased anaylsis without taking few vital factors into account. When umpires are biased will a team be able to score? Why blame india,did any other country developed its neighbors?

  • POSTED BY Vilander on | November 15, 2010, 13:25 GMT

    Bang is a fine ODI side, very good one in in 20/20 and ODI's at home. They are for some reason poor in tests, guess they need particular focus in the test game to reach success, but we have to keep in mind that teams like pak/ind also took their time in tests, so let us be patient.results have to come.

  • POSTED BY tofazzel on | November 15, 2010, 12:38 GMT

    Very good analysis of the real situation. We hope stats on success will overtime. BCCI could be a bit more cooperative by hosting our team in India in last ten years. Anyway, if BCB can keep going with strong commitment and leadership in increasing the team performance then days are not far away when India will feel happy to host Bangladesh Team. We recognize we have limitations in terms of facilities needed for standard cricket but now scenario is changing this days. Sponsorship, coaching, venues and mental strengths of our young cricketers are boosting up as they are consistently having their place in world rankings. We believe inclusion of our players in County Cricket, IPL or similar tournaments may help our teams to be world class. At the same time it is important to manage the teams effectively , we hope that Bangladesh government will set any incidents before the players and viewers as it was done by present board chairman forcing Sakib to "Knee down" .

  • POSTED BY KaZsa on | November 15, 2010, 12:38 GMT

    @kyron - I think you are making a good point about the associate nations.They need to be given more chances.At least give more publicity to the tournaments they play.I mean look at the hype around the IPL.Why can't we have a tournament of that magnitude for the Associates.It'll bring more enthusiasum to the game as well.And in the long run it will add more competition.Look at football man.There is no super power in football anymore.If you are good enough any team can come in and beat the best.We need good administrators who thinks about the expansion and future of this beautiful game.

  • POSTED BY on | November 15, 2010, 12:24 GMT

    I agree to what Mr Miller has said however I want to add some extra comments . I am Bangladeshi , love and support my country very much . However despite their historic win against Kenya in 1997 ICC Trophy , I think Kenya is much competitive than Bangladesh . However look at Kenya , how many international one days does Kenya plays and compare that to Bangladesh . If I had the power I would have given Kenya test status before Bangladesh . But hadn't Bangladesh obtained the test status at that period of optimism , it would have been difficult to count Bangladesh at its present mood . I think ICC have to revise their policy of giving Test status to countries and reconsider their view against Kenya.

  • POSTED BY on | November 15, 2010, 12:19 GMT

    not only supporting bangladesh, eagerly waiting for 10 more countries to join test cricket within a very short time.............

  • POSTED BY tauhid_aks on | November 15, 2010, 12:17 GMT

    Bangladesh needs a good domestic structure. A player roughly can play 8-10 first class matches a year. In Bangladesh, a player has so less chances in domestic cricket that scoring a hundred makes one enter in the team. Players like Hussey and Swann had to pass a long time in first class cricket, before they played in international level and became inevitable members of the team. If Ashraful got more time to settle in club cricket, he would have been a big assset for the team. Everyone has to remember that talent does not always come out of itself, like Shakib and Tamim's did. It needs to be exploited. actually Bangladesh's main problem is economical, which hinders a smooth movement in international cricket.

  • POSTED BY on | November 15, 2010, 12:09 GMT

    great article by andrew miller. what he said is actually pretty true... oh well....all the best tigers, hope you all play like this with every team and make us, bangladeshis proud.

  • POSTED BY on | November 15, 2010, 11:34 GMT

    u kiddin me andrew???...u don't even know the history of the country...u are factually wrong wen u say "Less than three decades after a bloody war of liberation had left the nation traumatised and face-down in the global gutter"...bangladesh was the victim of atrocities...never the aggressor...and when u say "India's pursuit of self-interest"...do you mean to say that other countries like australia n england take decisions in the interest of the game...stop preaching on cricinfo...evry country takes decisions according to its self-interests...

  • POSTED BY smalishah84 on | November 15, 2010, 8:17 GMT

    well written. I hope Bangladesh can repeat their success against other countries as well. Wishing them all the best for the future. Best of luck from Pakistan.

  • POSTED BY kryon on | November 15, 2010, 7:53 GMT

    Great Article Andrew.Most would agree that Bangladesh got test Status a little too early without the basic first class structure in place,but without that happening Bangladesh Cricket wouldn't have reached where it is now.Let's face it,no test cricket meant that bigger teams have no reason to play Bangladesh,since no country wants to visit another just to play one-dayers.You can compare the peoples support for BD team with any other teams outside the sub-continent.Frankly for cricket to develop we need more teams,teams like Nepal,Afghanistan,China,USA.What are we doing really to help them grow that enthusiasm.No elite team is playing them,not even first class.So how will they develop.Lastly you would have understood the passion for cricket in Bangladesh if you have seen the youth world cup final held in Bangladesh.Its this passion that we should give importance to,not some elite cononialistic attitude of a selected few.

  • POSTED BY Wahid_Hossain on | November 15, 2010, 7:52 GMT

    As expected, a good stuff from Andrew Miller.When considering Bangladesh's apparent poor results over the decade,I would request all to cosider 3 points : 1. 59 losses out of 68 is poor in comparison to other new test playing nations, but test cricket now- a- days is much more result-oriented. Unlike of say 2/3 decades ago, very few tests ends up in a draw now. 2. All the other teams had the "advantage" of home umpires in the home tests in their earlier years. In the age of netral umpires Bangladesh didn't have the backing of those "patriotic" gentlemen! Rather they were victim of some really inept (biased!) decision of so-called neutral umpiring!2007-08 away series against Pakistan and Last home series against England are two glaring examples. 3. If you really want to globalise the game you need Bangladesh and likes. Please bear with us for a little more, we didn't do that badly in last two years. Thanks again Mr.Miller and all the believers of Bangladesh cricket.

  • POSTED BY mohashin_reza on | November 15, 2010, 7:39 GMT

    Nice article. What I feel that it's time for Bangladesh to look forward. Bangladeshi players are now coming to terms to test cricket. I'm cautiously optimistic about this nation.

  • POSTED BY ankitbhat on | November 15, 2010, 6:17 GMT

    i do respect many Bangladeshi players.Today they have fine players like Shakib,Shahadat Hossain,and not to forget Tamim Iqbal. Tamim is for Bangladesh what Sehwag is for India.I really want Bangladesh to perform well in international cricket

  • POSTED BY Meety on | November 15, 2010, 6:14 GMT

    Good article. I think more should of been done in 1999/2000 with setting up the first class structure in Bangladesh. Only now is their first class scene approaching a standard that can regularly produce quality players. Other nations had far better set ups domestically before they entered the test arena. There are some harsh words in here about devaluing Test cricket, although it has to be remembered that Sth Africa gave up some horrific defates to Oz & England in the early days of test cricket. The fact is that there is a distortion in the statistics because of Bangladesh, (& to a lesser extent Zim). But the last year there is definate green shoots appearing, I look forward to a Nafees/Iqbal opening combo @ the W/Cup, they could be the Kalu/Sanath of 2011! Shakib could probably command a place in any side in the world, probably as a spinner who bats rather then currently top order batsmen & frontline bowler. I think Siddons has done a great job so far.

  • POSTED BY ram_sachin on | November 15, 2010, 6:07 GMT

    Jai Bangla !!! Go go gogo go gog ogo g

  • POSTED BY Ramesh-IT on | November 15, 2010, 6:04 GMT

    "Erosion of the game's traditional values" eh? Really? Didn't the traditionally great teams West indies and England lose 5-0 in test series to get the people away from cricket forever? What did they do to protect traditional values of cricket? Don't blame poor Bangladesh. Look at the state of West indies and Pakistan now. Pathetic and worse than Bangladesh.

  • POSTED BY on | November 15, 2010, 5:18 GMT

    It took 10 yeras, but one feels that Bangladesh cricket is finally coming of age. If Shakib is leading the team, in form and ably supported by Tamim, Mushfiq and Mashrafe, Bangladesh could go deep in the one day World Cup on home grounds- very deep!!!

  • POSTED BY Nadeem1976 on | November 15, 2010, 4:51 GMT

    Keep it up Bangladesh, it will take decades to build a worldclass team. Keep it up and keep on doing the good work.

  • POSTED BY arnold_mccann on | November 15, 2010, 4:11 GMT

    Bangladesh's achievement up to now has to be attributed to a few people that are not recognized by the cricketing public or the officials themselves. The main people behind the success is of the likes of Gordon Greenidge and Dav Whatmore. They were able to get the best from the players even with idiotic politicians that ran the game in the country. Having been a witness of Bangladesh cricket from a close range I have seen that cricket has been a success only at the international level but on a domestic front it is an utter disgrace. The national leagues are held on a whimsical basis i.e. whenever there is a feeling for its need it is seen to come into play. The school cricket is a sham with the Nirman system marred with corruption i.e. players make it to the team by paying the coaches and staff members. All the cricket clubs are run by imperialist thugs that have to be wooed to stay in the team. So if Bangladesh wants success in all forms of the game the board must be independent.

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  • POSTED BY arnold_mccann on | November 15, 2010, 4:11 GMT

    Bangladesh's achievement up to now has to be attributed to a few people that are not recognized by the cricketing public or the officials themselves. The main people behind the success is of the likes of Gordon Greenidge and Dav Whatmore. They were able to get the best from the players even with idiotic politicians that ran the game in the country. Having been a witness of Bangladesh cricket from a close range I have seen that cricket has been a success only at the international level but on a domestic front it is an utter disgrace. The national leagues are held on a whimsical basis i.e. whenever there is a feeling for its need it is seen to come into play. The school cricket is a sham with the Nirman system marred with corruption i.e. players make it to the team by paying the coaches and staff members. All the cricket clubs are run by imperialist thugs that have to be wooed to stay in the team. So if Bangladesh wants success in all forms of the game the board must be independent.

  • POSTED BY Nadeem1976 on | November 15, 2010, 4:51 GMT

    Keep it up Bangladesh, it will take decades to build a worldclass team. Keep it up and keep on doing the good work.

  • POSTED BY on | November 15, 2010, 5:18 GMT

    It took 10 yeras, but one feels that Bangladesh cricket is finally coming of age. If Shakib is leading the team, in form and ably supported by Tamim, Mushfiq and Mashrafe, Bangladesh could go deep in the one day World Cup on home grounds- very deep!!!

  • POSTED BY Ramesh-IT on | November 15, 2010, 6:04 GMT

    "Erosion of the game's traditional values" eh? Really? Didn't the traditionally great teams West indies and England lose 5-0 in test series to get the people away from cricket forever? What did they do to protect traditional values of cricket? Don't blame poor Bangladesh. Look at the state of West indies and Pakistan now. Pathetic and worse than Bangladesh.

  • POSTED BY ram_sachin on | November 15, 2010, 6:07 GMT

    Jai Bangla !!! Go go gogo go gog ogo g

  • POSTED BY Meety on | November 15, 2010, 6:14 GMT

    Good article. I think more should of been done in 1999/2000 with setting up the first class structure in Bangladesh. Only now is their first class scene approaching a standard that can regularly produce quality players. Other nations had far better set ups domestically before they entered the test arena. There are some harsh words in here about devaluing Test cricket, although it has to be remembered that Sth Africa gave up some horrific defates to Oz & England in the early days of test cricket. The fact is that there is a distortion in the statistics because of Bangladesh, (& to a lesser extent Zim). But the last year there is definate green shoots appearing, I look forward to a Nafees/Iqbal opening combo @ the W/Cup, they could be the Kalu/Sanath of 2011! Shakib could probably command a place in any side in the world, probably as a spinner who bats rather then currently top order batsmen & frontline bowler. I think Siddons has done a great job so far.

  • POSTED BY ankitbhat on | November 15, 2010, 6:17 GMT

    i do respect many Bangladeshi players.Today they have fine players like Shakib,Shahadat Hossain,and not to forget Tamim Iqbal. Tamim is for Bangladesh what Sehwag is for India.I really want Bangladesh to perform well in international cricket

  • POSTED BY mohashin_reza on | November 15, 2010, 7:39 GMT

    Nice article. What I feel that it's time for Bangladesh to look forward. Bangladeshi players are now coming to terms to test cricket. I'm cautiously optimistic about this nation.

  • POSTED BY Wahid_Hossain on | November 15, 2010, 7:52 GMT

    As expected, a good stuff from Andrew Miller.When considering Bangladesh's apparent poor results over the decade,I would request all to cosider 3 points : 1. 59 losses out of 68 is poor in comparison to other new test playing nations, but test cricket now- a- days is much more result-oriented. Unlike of say 2/3 decades ago, very few tests ends up in a draw now. 2. All the other teams had the "advantage" of home umpires in the home tests in their earlier years. In the age of netral umpires Bangladesh didn't have the backing of those "patriotic" gentlemen! Rather they were victim of some really inept (biased!) decision of so-called neutral umpiring!2007-08 away series against Pakistan and Last home series against England are two glaring examples. 3. If you really want to globalise the game you need Bangladesh and likes. Please bear with us for a little more, we didn't do that badly in last two years. Thanks again Mr.Miller and all the believers of Bangladesh cricket.

  • POSTED BY kryon on | November 15, 2010, 7:53 GMT

    Great Article Andrew.Most would agree that Bangladesh got test Status a little too early without the basic first class structure in place,but without that happening Bangladesh Cricket wouldn't have reached where it is now.Let's face it,no test cricket meant that bigger teams have no reason to play Bangladesh,since no country wants to visit another just to play one-dayers.You can compare the peoples support for BD team with any other teams outside the sub-continent.Frankly for cricket to develop we need more teams,teams like Nepal,Afghanistan,China,USA.What are we doing really to help them grow that enthusiasm.No elite team is playing them,not even first class.So how will they develop.Lastly you would have understood the passion for cricket in Bangladesh if you have seen the youth world cup final held in Bangladesh.Its this passion that we should give importance to,not some elite cononialistic attitude of a selected few.