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'Open your minds' - Yusuf Pathan to Bangladesh domestic players

Bangladesh's domestic cricketers must become more open to advice to raise their standard of cricket, according to the India allrounder who played in the DPL

Mohammad Isam
Mohammad Isam
25-Mar-2018
Bangladesh's domestic cricketers must become more self-motivated and open to advice in order to raise their standard of cricket, according to India allrounder Yusuf Pathan, who is playing for Prime Bank Cricket Club in this season's Dhaka Premier League.
Prime Bank, the 2014-15 DPL champion, didn't make it to the Super League after a dramatic two-wicket loss to the unheralded Khelaghar Samaj Kallyan Samity in the last game of the league's first phase. Pathan said that a domestic player has to be open to new ideas and listen to their coaches, rather than just getting stuck with what they already possess.
"I am quite impressed with many of the Bangladeshi cricketers," Pathan said. "We have some players in our team who can go for big hits like [Sazzadul Haque] Ripon, Nahidul [Islam] and Delwar [Hossain]. But one thing that is common when I speak to coaches here is that players have a set mindset, which is quite disappointing. These clubs spend a lot of money on these players who shouldn't worry about anything else other than developing themselves quickly. After getting a Premier-League contract, the players should be motivated to make it big. They must remain open-minded.
"If someone tells me I should improve in a certain area, I will take that advice happily. I think most Indian cricketers have this attitude. I think it is a bit lacking here, at least from what the coaches are telling me. They tell me that the players are not prepared to listen. They feel they know what they have to do. I think it hurts cricket. I think they should change this culture. They should be hungrier. Unless you open up your heart and mind, you will struggle at the highest level."
Pathan, who made 159 runs in seven DPL matches, said another difference between cricket in Bangladesh and India is the infrastructure. Obviously India has a much bigger number of grounds and facilities, but he feels Bangladesh has done well with limited resources.
"There's obviously a difference in structure. BCCI has done a lot for the Indian players. Every state has at least seven-eight grounds; Mumbai has around 50 grounds. Baroda and Maharasthra have plenty of facilities where you can play age-group cricket. The BCCI has developed many grounds, which provides great practice and match facilities to the players.
"We [the Pathan brothers, Yusuf and Irfan] also have several branches of our academy all over India. It is called CAP. We are providing kids those things which we didn't know at the start of our career: how should they approach certain things and then become more professional.
"Bangladesh, I think, have done laudable things for cricket. BKSP, Mirpur and Fatullah are good facilities."
Pathan, who played two matches for Abahani Limited in the 2016 DPL, said that although spin is widely used in Bangladesh, the quality of pitches is quite good, which has made the DPL more competitive.
"In India, our pace bowlers bowl 35-40 overs in a match, while in Bangladesh, spinners bowl a similar number of overs. It is a huge difference in culture. But the Bangladeshi spinners don't allow getting away with a lot of runs.
"The ball spins despite there not being a lot of grass in the pitches. It encourages both batsmen and bowlers. You must give credit to those who are preparing these good wickets."

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84