Bangladesh and the cursed flaw in perfection
It’s high time they let their cricket do all the shouting rather than allowing uninvited disaster mar their image.
Updated - Feb 12, 2020 1:28 pm
There’s an obsession about apocalypse; the aftermath of destruction was never gratifying, nor it will be. People search for messengers, who can show that there’s a ‘happy ending’, a life painted with more light and less darkness. Albeit it’s eschewing reality, it’s a brief pain reliever. But at times, there’s no one to apply the ointment, the pain getting intolerable, the wounds of Bangladesh cricket.
What if the bruises are self-inflicted? What if it’s hara-kiri, though inadvertent? What if it’s the resultant of unbridled emotions? Who’s to blame- the wrath of situation or nothing, but themselves? Bangladesh’s U19 team held their nerve in the most taxing situations- a World Cup final- where a powerhouse like India couldn’t, being the four-time champions and the defending champs.
Akbar Ali’s unreal mental stamina, dealing with his sister’s demise, didn’t deserve to go in vain; a cramped Parvez Hossain Emon’s lion-hearted efforts merited recognition. Their vigil paid dividends, much to the joy of the supporters in Bangladesh. That sweets were being distributed in the streets of their home country, even to random Rickshaw drivers, shows their huge admiration for the game.
Bangladesh’s fragile sandcastle
But what pricked was their atrocious demeanour after Rakibul Hasan’s flick got the Junior Tigers to victory. Love turned into violence and passion into uncontrolled fierceness. It was ‘dirty’ as termed by Team India captain Priyam Garg. Akbar, deemed to be cool as a cucumber, had to bow down in shame and apologize after his boys barged into the opposition players, letting their emotions flow.
Towhid Hridoy, Shamim Hossain and Rakibul Hasan did get slaps on the wrist with suspension points. It has brought the curtains down on the saga that somewhat overshadowed Tigers’ effort in Potchefstroom. However, does that guarantee that the world won’t witness such unruly behaviour again? The potholes have been filled, but it’s a matter of time before a splash of rain exposes them.
Parking aside the U19 team, the senior team’s players have been guilty of losing their mind when put under extreme pressure. Shakib Al Hasan, whose numbers can put even the best to shame, have succumbed to the heat, failing to report corrupt approaches. Same goes for the likes of Mushfiqur Rahim and Mahmudullah Riyad. Do those mishaps warrant their ‘character assassination’? NO!
Mistakes are human, they said. But it’s paramount to learn from them. David Warner and Steve Smith were scorned after the tampering scandal. Two years later, they fought for the Allan Border medal. But the Bangladesh cricketers are recurring mistakes. Just when the sandcastle seems built, frantic sea waves make a hash of them. Tigers’ cricket needs someone to protect the sandcastle.
The Tigers’ inspiration
Bangladesh cricket has to understand that such hasty behaviour acts as an axe to a branch of a tree. Every swing of the tool makes the wood weaker, eventually dividing it into two halves. The Tigers have somehow survived the venom of the axe, but their reputation is hanging by a thread. It’s high time they let their cricket do all the shouting rather than allowing uninvited disaster mar their image.
When it’s about the inspiration for the Tigers, there are a plethora of them. New Zealand witnessed the most gruesome ending possible in a World Cup Final at the Lord’s due to the boundary-count rule. Yet Kane Williamson’s men wore smiles, happily embracing fate. It earned them the Christopher Martin Jenkins Spirit of Cricket Award, including praises from MCC President Kumar Sangakkara.
The Kiwis’ sportsmanship conjured praises even during the U19 World Cup. Jesse Tashkoff and Joseph Field carried West Indies’ Kirk McKenzie off the field during one of the quarter-final matches at the Willowmoore Park in Benoni. The Caribbean batter had cramps and had difficulty to walk.
Even as McKenzie was being assisted, there was a round of applause from the audience as well as the support staff inside the dressing room. Commentator Pommie Mbangwa described how the Juniors are following the footsteps of their seniors in giving importance to the spirit of the game.
In January, Indian captain Virat Kohli got the ‘Spirit of Cricket’ Award in the ICC awards. In the 2019 World Cup, he urged the throng in London to cheer for Steve Smith, rather than booing him for his past deeds. Kohli felt that one shouldn’t take advantage of a person, coming out of a rough phase.
Shifting the focus back to Bangladesh, their cricket has seen a lot of ups and downs, yet they have weathered the storm. Going forward, all they need to do is to learn the art of staying humble and change the face of their cricket, which is somewhat blotted owing to their own misdemeanour.