Monday, October 22, 2018, 08:35:10 AM

Post Mortem of Kabuli Whitewash

Saleque Sufi |
Update: 2018-06-09 6:09:18 AM
Post Mortem of Kabuli Whitewash
Photo: collected

Bangladesh learnt no lessons from comprehensive whitewash by New Zealand and South Africa in not too distant past. 

Those two are far superior teams and in their own condition take stern tests of any visiting team from the subcontinent. But such logic can not be applied in the case of Tigers getting Kabuli Wash at Dehradun by the rookie Afghanistan of ICC Elite Club member Afghanistan. I have seen celebrated Bangladesh cricketer of the past and a leading ICC personality Aminul Islam Bulbul’s piece of mind about the disgraceful Bangladesh performance in the three matches T20 series. I can not agree more.

Why Bangladesh Choose T20?

We all know T20 is not our best forte. Bangladesh still struggling for setting their feet in that format. On the other hand Afghanistan with three to four world class players is emerging as a very strong team in T20.  Favoring T20 over ODI was done without any vision. With World Cup in England only about a year away Bangladesh should have played ODI where they are much stronger with Mashrafe leading the team. Bangladesh does not have too many impact players in T20 who can win those matches. Neither they have quality players handling quality bowlers like Rashid, Mujib and Nabi in the shorter format. 

Bangladesh did not prepare at all properly for the series. BCB miserably failed in finding a head coach after involuntary dissociation of controversial Hathurusingha. I agree with Bulbul that Country Walsh can only fine tune pace bowlers as a bowling coach. He has very little experience of setting strategy for the batsmen playing high quality spinners. Moreover, Mashrafe is no longer playing T20 International and new Captain Shakib was busy in IPL and was not with the team during preparation stage. 

So Bangladesh went with an unprepared poorly coached team for playing against a higher rated emerging power of T20 team Afghanistan. Rashid, Mujib and Nabi were fresh from their successful IPL stint. Two Bangladehis playing in IPL Shakib and Mustafiz had very limited success. Shakib was shadow of his past and Mustafiz mostly warmed the bench. Moreover, mystery injury forced the later out of the tournament. 

A team is as good as the quality of domestic cricket. India, Australia, South Africa and England continue to dominate world cricket for their well structured domestic cricket. Bangladesh could produce Mashrafe , Shakib , Mushfique , Tamim and Mahmudullah after years of well tuning and pruning  in some system.

In 1970s, 1980s and 1990s the quality of domestic cricket was far better though there used have limited infrastructure. Nirman school cricket, Siraj College Cricket, Inter University Cricket, National Cricket Championship were breeding grounds. Five senior cricketers by their combined contributions started bringing glory for Bangladesh. But alongside of international success Bangladesh lost sight for improving quality and strengthening infrastructure of local cricket. No challenges could be created for 5 top players as no player of comparable quality could emerge and push them. 

Domestic cricket is played on poor surfaces, supervised by umpires dictated for favoring some particular teams and identified players. Corrupt BCB administration has no perspective planning for creating cricket culture and new cricket generation. Where is that historic rivalry of erstwhile Mohammedan Sporting Club and Abahani KC gone? MSC officials are happy leaking boots of AKC officials as partners of crimes in BCB. The standard of senior and junior division of Bangladesh cricket league have nose dived. BPL has become gamblers paradise and instrument of money making and money siphoning of few.  Cricket Operation has become a non functional activity.  

Bangladesh cricket would soon enter into very uncertain stage if domestic cricket do not get revitalized. We must concentrate more on age level cricket, inter regional cricket. India benefits well from IPL in producing quality local cricketers while BPL benefits marginal foreign players. There is no thought process associated with organization of BPL.

Some players playing consistently well in local circuit are constantly ignored. Time has come rto question why Soumya, Sabbir and Mustafiz are not fulfilling their promise? Why talented Mominul can not be made played in all formats? Why Bangladesh can not find quality leg spinners? Omar Khaled and Wahidul Gani were two quality leggies in the past. Why their services can not be sought? Even Tanveer Mazhar Tanna was a quality leg spinner. Bangladesh bats inconsistently. No quality batsmen are growing to put pressure on Tamim, Mushfique, Shakib and Mahmudullah. They are getting a bit lazy as no one is pushing them for the position.

There exist some issues in finding coaches and managing them. Almost all coaches in the past had unceremonious exit. They are either given extraordinary liberty or are heavily dictated. Coaches are supposed to be answerable to Cricket (Operation). There must a plan to execute and ceratin terms of reference. Did Hathurusingha follow those? Did he care about Cricket operation? Did he follow the contracted leave rule? Bangladesh cricket culture can not absorb an English Coach grown in a totally difficult culture. 

I can safely predict that the new coach will be a failure if there is no accountability is established.

Bangladesh can not move an inch forward with the Present BCB where only few have experience and heart for redeveloping cricket from grass roots. We aware Syed Ashraful Haque has wide reputation as International Cricket organizer and Administrator. Bangladesh could utilize his service and benefit from his networks. Aminul Islam Bulbul is widely respected in ICC. He could be great use. Persons like Yusuf Rahman Babu , Nazmoon Noor Robin, Omar Khaled Rumi, Ishtiaque Ahmed  would be happy to assist Bangladesh in any capacity . I know most of the persons of BCB. Other than Sajjad Bobby the rest are not bothered about longterm sustainable cricket development at all. Cricket now desperately needs professional skills. 

We need good surfaces for playing local cricket under complete professional environment, better age level cricket, well planned BPL and corruption free accountable BCB.

Finally Bangladesh lost to a far superior T20 team. With Rashid, Mujib and Nabi on slow low truck Bangladesh was sacrificial goat with very little preparation and no plan. Without Mashrafe and Mustafiz Bangladesh pace attack was pedestrian. Shakib appeared to be out of his mind in handling his team. His own performance was below par. 

Eventual whitewash was unavoidable consequence. This humiliating defeat would cast dark shadow. It will be very difficult regrouping and turning around in West Indies series Any reverse in West Indies will create long term adverse impacts. 

We can only hope for the best.

BDST: 1608 HRS, JUN 9, 2018

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