Much to do on Tigers’ return

When all the practice matches against the Academy side were being cut short by rain and while Bangladesh Cricket Board were busy playing hide-and-seek with the media regarding the new national coach, hardly anyone had guessed such a turn of events at the end of August.
Early on the morning of 24 August, the Bangladesh cricket team will return home from Zimbabwe empty-handed, having lost their only Test match in more than a year as well as meekly surrendering in the one-dayers. Some pride was restored in the end with two consecutive wins in the Bulawayo leg of the tour but it didn’t count for much.
With a new domestic season beckoning, Bangladesh Cricket Board should take a long hard look at the state of the game and where it has gone wrong.
Even though West Indies are coming in October and the best training for the Tigers ahead of the important series is of paramount interest, the BCB must take a stand on the domestic structure and where they stand with the different formats.
Whether or not the BCB employ more first-class games than the shorter formats would determine the value they place on Test cricket. A proper first-class structure is often talked about and if it is not corrected now, especially after the Tigers went down so comprehensively to Test returnees Zimbabwe, it will never be what is required.
The tour of Zimbabwe has also taught the team and the authorities many other lessons, first of which was preparation ahead of a series.
With the board bigwigs spending too much time on how to handle the media, the bigger picture was missed. Preparation wasn’t up to the mark and the BCB’s diplomacy is also put into question as they couldn’t manage an extra game in Zimbabwe.
The board’s international relations can also be mentioned when it comes to scheduling and a better, more balanced tour programme is required for a sustained performance from the national team.
There was also trouble with parts of the team management bringing more confusion into the setup rather than freeing up their mind. It has happened on several occasions and this area must be looked at.
These being said, this particular squad wasn’t so inexperienced as to bat, bowl or field as poorly as it did in Zimbabwe.
If one starts from the bowling department which opened the Test match early in August, only a few have delivered performances that can be encouraging.
Rubel Hossain and Robiul Islam, who just played the one-off Test, were the best bowlers on show, threatening to take wickets and adjusting to the situation quite well.
Shafiul Islam never gave one good performance, a spell or two being impressive while the failure of the spin attack as a whole is now being regarded as one of the key reasons the Tigers couldn’t break the Zimbabweans at crucial moments.
Abdur Razzak hardly posed a threat and the home batsmen figured out a way to deal with Shakib Al Hasan’s version of left-arm spin as well.
Imrul Kayes would like to forget this wretched series and hope that the selectors restore his pairing with Tamim Iqbal for the next series. Tamim did deliver at times, though usually getting out at the wrong time, but Imrul was an accident waiting to happen.
Shahriar Nafees too had the same problem as he lost his way after the chancy half-century in the first innings of the Test match. Junaed Siddiqui, despite the two low scores, could find himself up for selection again as the No 3 position in both Tests and ODIs is not yet settled.
Mohammad Ashraful showed it is possible for him to be sensible, yet disappointing with a poor dismissal in the first innings as well as less than flattering performances in the one-dayers.
Mahmudullah Riyad is facing the biggest threat though he finally cracked it with a good all-round performance in the last game. But it was his fateful slog against Brian Vitori that would haunt the Tigers for a long time.
Shuvogoto Hom Chowdhury and Nasir Hossain offer hope but they should be handled with care and left to play without any pressure to perform.
The Tigers also must begin to look at “other” types of bowlers and find out ways to play them. On too many occasions they have capitulated in front of left-arm fast bowlers, leg-spinners and off-spinners, the sort they hardly get to play.
It will all need to come from the cricket board who must take all responsibility for all the misdemeanours in the game.
Nobody is asking for an Australia-style Argus review thus far, but some old-fashioned common sense would make most of the difference in Bangladesh cricket.

-With The Daily Star input

Related News

Warner plans Test exit at SCG

Sport Desk : Veteran Australian cricketer David Warner announced his plans to retire from Test cricket, claiming that he wants the match he plays in the longest format of the game—against Pakistan in Sydney in 2024 to be his last. Speaking to reporters in Beckenham ahead of next week’s World Test Championship final against ... Read more

‘A’ team in trouble against Windies

News Desk : A yet another listless batting performance saw Bangladesh A struggling against their West Indies counterparts on day two of the third and final unofficial Test at the Sylhet International Cricket Stadium on Wednesday. At stumps, Bangladesh reached 157-7 in their first innings, in reply of West Indies 445 all out, trailing ... Read more

ICC leaders in Pakistan to secure cricket World Cup participation

Sports Desk : Senior International Cricket Council (ICC) officials are set to travel to Pakistan to secure the country’s participation in this year’s 50-over World Cup in India which has been in doubt for political reasons. Bilateral cricket has been a casualty of the soured relations between India and Pakistan over the last decade, ... Read more

Australia announce 15-member squad for World Test Championship final

Josh Hazlewood included Sports Desk : Australia have confirmed their 15-member squad for the World Test Championship (WTC) final against India beginning on June 7 at The Oval, London. Australian pacer Josh Hazlewood, who had injury concerns during the Indian Premier League, has been cleared to play in WTC final and has found a ... Read more

Liton not losing sleep over bad patch

Sports Desk : Bangladesh batsman Liton Das asserted that he is not losing sleep over his recent bad patch with the bat as he is confident of overcoming it shortly. The 28-year-old performed dismally in the recently concluded three-match one-day international series against Ireland, as he could manage 0, 21, and 35 at their ... Read more

MS Dhoni fans won’t let him retire even when he is 75 years old, says Harsha Bhogle

Sports Desk : Chennai Super Kings are set to bring their fifth Indian Premier League trophy home, and as there have been speculations that it might be the last season of their skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, the 41-year-old is planning to bow out on a victorious note. Though there are no confirmations yet, ‘MSDians’ ... Read more

Bangladesh to get $100,000 from World Test Championship

Sports Desk : Bangladesh Cricket Board will receive $100,000 from the ICC World Test Championship, the smallest fraction of a total prize purse of $3.8 million, alongside New Zealand, Pakistan and West Indies. Bangladesh finished in ninth position among nine teams in the Championship, the final of which will be played at The Oval, ... Read more

Not much changes in WC squad: Nazmul

Sports Desk : The Bangladesh Cricket Board president Nazmul Hasan hinted that the Bangladesh squad that played against Ireland in the home series in March is set to be finalised as the squad for the forthcoming ICC World Cup scheduled for October-November of this year in India. The Tigers played a three-match one-day international ... Read more

Taskin eyes World Cup challenge in India

Sports Desk : As the conditions in India are known to be quite challenging for pacers, Bangladesh pacer Taskin Ahmed wants to take on that challenge and flourish with the ball in the forthcoming ICC World Cup scheduled to be held there in October-November this year. Earlier, the Indian Express reported that the majority ... Read more

BCB boss hints at inclusion of Afif, Mahmudullah

Sports Desk : Bangladesh Cricket Board president Nazmul Hasan hinted at the inclusion of Afif Hossain, Mosaddek Hossain, and veteran Mahmudullah in the Tigers’ squad for the forthcoming ICC World Cup, scheduled to be in October-November in India. Mosaddek, who played his last one-day international against Zimbabwe in Harare in August 2022, performed well ... Read more

Shakib ruled out of third ODI against Ireland with finger injury

Sports Desk : Bangladesh all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan has been ruled out from the third and final one-day international against Ireland after he suffered a finger injury while fielding in the second ODI in Chelmsford, England on May 12. The third and final ODI will be played at the same venue on Sunday. ‘Shakib ... Read more

Former Zimbabwe captain Heath Streak critically ill

Sports Desk : FORMER Zimbabwe national cricket team captain Heath Streak, who is currently serving an eight year-ban from the game for breaching the International Cricket Council’s anti-corruption code, is reportedly critically ill, prompting calls for prayers from the public. David Coltart, who served as Zimbabwe’s minister of education, sport, arts and culture from ... Read more

Pakistan appoint Grant Bradburn as cricket team head coach

Sports Desk : The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) announced Saturday that veteran New Zealand batter Grant Bradburn has been appointed as the head coach of the national men’s side for the next two years, following a robust recruitment process. The New Zealander also served as the head coach of the side during the recently-concluded ... Read more

Shanto appreciates Domingo and the selectors for their support

Sports Desk : The most remarkable thing in the second ODI was to see Najmul Hossain Shanto come of age. Touted as one of the best young players, Shanto failed to live up to the expectation on most of the occasions but on a day when it mattered the most, he delivered to give ... Read more

Women’s team loses 3rd T20I and series against SL

Sports Desk : Bangladesh women’s team were outplayed by their Sri Lankan counterparts in the series-deciding third Twenty20 international, losing the match by 44 runs to lose the series 1-2 at the SSC Ground in Colombo on Friday. Asked to bowl, Bangladeshi bowlers failed to contain the Sri Lankan batters as Nilakshi de Silva ... Read more

Women’s team suffer crushing defeat

Sports Desk : Bangladesh women’s team suffered a thrashing seven-wicket defeat against their Sri Lanka counterparts in the second game of the three-match Twenty20 International series at the Sinhalese Sports Club Ground in Colombo on Thursday. With the win, the home side levelled the series 1-1 as Bangladesh earned a six-wicket victory in the ... Read more

Being the World Cup winning team’s captain would be sweet: Babar

Sports Desk : Babar Azam, the skipper of Pakistan’s cricket team, has expressed his aspirations to lead his team to victory in the upcoming Cricket World Cup 2023. Babar stated that his focus is now on winning the World Cup and he is determined and ambitious to achieve this goal and believes that it ... Read more

Mahmudullah in plan for WC: Tamim

Sports Desk : Bangladesh one-day international skipper Tamim Iqbal expressed their eagerness to have their veteran campaigner Mahmudullah in the squad for the forthcoming ICC World Cup scheduled for October–November in India. Mahmudullah’s inclusion in the side came under scrutiny following his dismal performance in the three-match one-day international series against the touring England, ... Read more

Mashrafe surprises with spin in Abahani defeat

Sports Desk : Former Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Bin Mortaza shocked the country’s cricket fraternity on Sunday by bowling off-spin instead of pace while playing for Legends of Rupganj in the ongoing Dhaka Premier League during their match against Abahani Limited at BKSP-3. The veteran pacer is the highest wicket-taker among all Bangladeshi pacers in ... Read more

Katherine Sciver-Brunt announces retirement from international cricket

Sports Desk : England’s leading female wicket-taker, Katherine Sciver-Brunt, has announced she has retired from international cricket. Arguably one of the greatest fast bowlers of all time, Sciver-Brunt said that playing for England ‘saved her life’. Sciver-Brunt made her international debut in August 2004 and went on to collect 335 wickets in 267 appearances, ... Read more