Going downhill with the flow


Things have not gone well in Bangladesh cricket since the ICC World Cup in July last year, after which the Tigers seem to have lost their way in almost every aspect.

Following an eighth-place finish in the 10-team flagship event it was expected that Bangladesh cricket would begin a new journey with long-term planning.

But it was not the case as the process remained the same as it has been in Bangladesh cricket — depending mostly on short-term solutions that saw no real progress.

Whether it is limited-overs cricket or the longest format, the Bangladesh think tank have just not been able to come up with the right composition or allowed new players to create a place in the team by injecting youngsters in appropriate positions keeping the long-term benefit in mind.

The results, therefore, were not surprising. The Tigers went faced humiliating home losses against Zimbabwe and even Afghanistan, who were playing just their third Test.

The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) high-ups even said that they would want to reform the country’s first-class cricket to produce more competitiveness.

But that too has not panned out as the BCB hurriedly announced the upcoming season of the Bangladesh Cricket League – the country’s lone franchise-based first-class competition, with less than seven days to prepare.

Even the glamorous T20 competition – the Bangladesh Premier League – suffered a major setback after the board decided to move away from the franchise-based nature of the tournament and organised it on their own accord following a disagreement with the franchises that were involved in the previous six editions.

That itself raised questions as to why, after taking the BPL to a certain standard over the years, the BCB could not come up with a solution with the franchises.

The board did manage to pull off the special edition of the BPL, dedicating the tournament to Father of The Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman to mark his 100th birth centenary. But the success seemed hollow as although the special edition was expected to promote local cricketers and showcase their talent, Bangladesh failed horribly in Pakistan in the three-match T20I series just after the BPL.

Although the Tigers technically avoided the whitewash courtesy of rain, which washed out the third and final T20I of the series yesterday, the type of cricket that Bangladesh played while losing the first two T20Is comprehensively was alarming.

The approach from the Tigers in the shortest format of the game, especially in batting, raised questions and to make things worse, a lack of proper team composition has been the biggest reason of downfall in Pakistan. Not only have Bangladesh displayed a mediocre style of play in scoring slowly in Pakistan, the lack of planning from the team management in packing the side with top-order batsman has also been exposed.

With the upcoming T20 World Cup scheduled later in October this year, it seems the Bangladesh team management has not even taken the first step forward to forming a perfect combination for the mega event, where the mantra still remains — go with the flow.

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