Friday, June 21, 2024

‘It is not just another loss’

Bangladesh surrendered meekly in Test cricket on numerous occasions since their elevation to the top flight in 2000. There have been questions raised about Bangladesh’s ability in the longer version of cricket following every pathetic defeat against the top-ranked sides. The cricket fraternity and the fans got frustrated after all those poor showings. But the 130-run defeat against Zimbabwe in the one-off Test match at the Harare Sports Club has appeared as the biggest shock for all.
And former national captain and chief selector Faruque Ahmed was no exception. He issued a warning saying that judging by the way the game of cricket is being run in the country the team may suffer yet more disastrous results than what transpired in Harare. Faruque also said that the defeat should not be seen as divorced from the ongoing trends in Bangladesh cricket.
“It’s not like we just lost another Test match. No way can we take this defeat lightly. I think it’s a wake-up call for everybody. Definitely the players should be blamed for their poor approach in the match but you must dig deep if you want to find the reasons behind this embarrassing and shameful defeat against a team who were out of Test cricket for the last six years,” said a frustrated Faruque while talking with the Daily Star Sport yesterday.
“We must understand one thing, that at the end of the day the world cricket fraternity will judge us on the basis of our on-field performance; not how good we are in organising a tournament or the World Cup. But unfortunately, it seems that the incumbent officials in the board are more interested in politics rather than devoting their energies into the improvement of the game in the country. And as a result, everything has been handled loosely,” he added.
Faruque criticised the way the Bangladesh team has prepared for a very demanding tour.
“I don’t know whether the officials understood the importance of this tour and whether they have had any proper planning for this tour in which Bangladesh were going to play a Test after a fourteen-month break. The board had enough time to chalk out the plan but it was frustrating to see that they failed to arrange even an extra longer-version practice match for the team,” blasted Faruque.
“What we learnt was that the Zimbabwean board had demanded money for an additional four-day practice match. But we were not ready to pay that money. My question is: Why? It’s not going from their pocket. You must ensure that you give your maximum effort for the national team because you are doing everything to prove your worth on the world stage. You however can’t expect more from the current bunch of officials who, I think, has hardly any vision regarding Bangladesh cricket,” continued Faruque.
The former national skipper also came down heavily on the few players in the team for their audacity.
“There are some players who have started to believe that they have already become superstars. It’s really ridiculous. The way they talked and played the Test match really surprised me. Some of their recent behaviour and comments also shocked me. But I think it’s all happened because of a lack of control. You have to have good and professional management to handle the players properly, but I must say there is a lack of it right at this moment.
“You must give the impression that nobody is indispensable and everybody should be treated in the same way. I don’t belittle the performances of Shakib and Tamim but I must say that their way of thinking is totally wrong and for that our officials must take the responsibility,” said Faruque, adding that he was surprised by the comments of Shakib after the match, when the captain said that the team were not playing for a draw.
Faruque said that the bottom line is that the country must improve its first-class structure if it is to improve.
“The bottom line is that we must improve our first-class structure and without that we can’t achieve anything in world cricket. The problem is that we all know what to do but nobody is there to implement it. Honestly speaking, I am really scared with the way cricket is running right at this moment. I have grave doubts over the efficiency of some officials who are actually calling all the shots in the board,” he opined.
The former captain strongly felt that it is high time to place the right people in the right positions for the betterment of the game.

-With The Daily Star input

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