DHAKA: Would any cricket enthusiast believe that Bangladesh one of the most successful countries of World Cricket in limited over version in 2015 has not played any bilateral cricket series of any format in 2016?
Seven of the twelve months of the year is going to be over soon. The only prospect of having a bilateral series in October is against a very strong England side at home. Even the prospect of that series is hanging on a balance after the recent terrorist attack at Gulshan diplomatic zone in Dhaka.
We hope the tour goes ahead as scheduled. But, if not, our cricketers won’t be appearing in international matches till the visit to New Zealand at the end of the year. We cannot understand the role of BCB.
While other teams like Zimbabwe, West Indies, Pakistan and Sri Lanka can organize bilateral series regularly, then, why not BCB? If we do not play frequently how can Bangladesh keep momentum of improving up the ladder? How can players judge their skills, measure their improvement? Lack of international cricket does not speak high about negotiating skills of BCB executives and its President.
Bangladesh tanks 9th among 10-member ICC test family, 7th among 12-member ODI group and 10th among 17 T20 teams. In test and T20 we are among the rock bottom and even in ODI our 7th position is not very comfortable as West Indies and Pakistan are breathing on our neck.
The ensuing West Indies–India and Pakistan–England Series may turn the table on us. Wonder why BCB could not organize even a single bilateral series in seven months!
Ranking as updated on 11 July 2016: Test
Rank Country Matches Rating
1 Australia 32 118
2 India 20 112
3 Pakistan 20 111
4 England 36 108
5 New Zealand 25 98
6 South Africa 22 92
7 Sri Lanka 28 85
8 West Indies 21 65
9 Bangladesh 12 57
10 Zimbabwe 4 12
We must not look at Zimbabwe which has remained out of test cricket for a while and has started rebuilding from the ruins. West Indies and Sri Lanka are also going through rebuilding process. But given the resources and infrastructure they may soon go well beyond our reach if we do not play test matches regularly. If two tier test playing system is introduced cricket of Bangladesh will have major set back.
Bangladesh cricket just found a right groove in all formats. The situation required revamping domestic cricket format through organizing local leagues and regional cricket matches.
There should have been longer version cricket organized in proper manner on good playing surfaces, improved facilities, better management and skills development of test players and probable.
Very expensive coaching staff should have been better utilized round the year. But unfortunately these did not happen. BCB executives got involved in silly matters of local cricket creating disputes and controversies.
Bangladesh has not played test cricket in almost a year. India which never hosted Bangladesh till now declined to honor commitment of the lone test that was promised. In such a situation playing very strong England even at home will be extremely challenging. Playing any format of cricket in completely different environment in New Zealand is always a challenge for any sub-continent team. Bangladesh may find it no different there.
England, Australia, West Indies, India, South Africa and Sri Lanka are not only playing tests but also their A teams are playing against each other. Why Bangladesh could not even arrange tours for it’s A team? What the high sounding BCB executives are doing? Do they have any PR at ICC level or any friendly rapport with other boards?
Ranking as Updated on 11 July 2016: ODI
Ranking Country Matches Points
1 Australia 40 123
2 New Zealand 41 113
3 India 48 110
4 South Africa 46 110
5 England 45 106
6 Sri Lanka 50 102
7 Bangladesh 24 98
8 West Indies 30 94
9 Pakistan 42 87
10 Afghanistan 19 51
11 Zimbabwe 46 46
12 Ireland 13 41
Bangladesh after a wonderful 2015 elevated its position to rank 7th above West Indies and Pakistan. But from the table it appears it played only 24 matches over the recent past. Only Afghanistan and Ireland played lesser number of matches. West Indies and Pakistan are not very far behind.
West Indies in recent times have known tremendous potential of reviving its strength in the limited over format. It won’t be surprising if they win series against India and overtake Bangladesh in the ranking. Similarly Pakistan may close the gap performing against England in England.
We are comfortable now qualifying for 2017 Champions trophy. If we again drop below West Indies and Pakistan soon we may find it very difficult to recover. Some of our top players like Mashrafe, Shakib, Tamim, Mushfique and Mahmudullah are at the peak of their form. We have to develop youngsters taking their shoes through playing more international matches.
Present BCB executives appear to have no perspective plans towards that end.
Success in international cricket acted as unifying bond for the nation. Perhaps cricket became the only common language of the nation. It was inspiring our teenagers and our youth into creativity. Absence of it will obviously divert teenagers and youth in other areas which all parents and policy makers must start pondering now seriously.
We are sure more international cricket, more competitive domestic cricket will find more Mustafiz, Taskin, Soumya, Sabbir and the likes.
Teenagers may not be lured by evil forces so easily and so often if they have other ways of glorifying themselves. Present BCB do not have intellectual capabilities for realizing this and living up to that.
BDST: 1334 HRS, JUL 12, 2016