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Tweeting team Tigers looking beyond horizon

Mashrafe struck twice in his first spell

Saleque Sufi

Inspired by Tiger Mashrafe team Tigers is now tweeting. Back to back big wins against Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka by huge margins of 8 wickets and 163 runs with bonus points have already put them in impregnable position of appertaining in the final of the Rocket Tri Nation ODI series.

Business as usual Bangladesh is now well on the way of winning the trophy unless something goes very wrong with the team. But the focus of Bangladesh is well beyond ongoing Tri Nation Series and bilateral series against Sri Lanka.

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Very soon, a very busy international assignment abroad would start. Sri Lanka, West India and Australia tours are forthcoming. Hope team Tigers will sharpen its teeth for biting opponents better in alien conditions.

These should prepare Bangladesh better for the all important ICC World Cup 2019 in England. Bangladesh is now a formidable force in ODI at home. Fine tuning of team Tigers under a world class coaching staff would make them a fierce competitor in world stage.

Need mentioning that in ICC World Cup 2014 in Australia New Zealand Bangladesh lost a controversial match against India at MCG in the quarter final. We must endeavor for bettering that.

Arguably Bangladesh possesses the most experienced quality senior professionals in world cricket now – Mashrafe, Shakib, Tamim, Mushfiqur and Mahmudullah. And all five are at the peak of their performances.

Moreover, all five are playing stress free natural cricket getting over the nightmare of immediate past. This Bangladesh team with five senior professionals teaming up with Anamul, Sabbir, Nasir, Rubel, Mustafiz, Sanjamul, Mehedi and Saifuddin should provide the backbone of the team for the World Cup.

Hope Taskin, Soumya and Mosaddek would also be back in business soon. Mominul should be included in all formats also. If planned properly and key players given mentoring and fine tuning Team Tigers would be a force to reckon with in ODI soon not only in home condition but also in abroad.

We do not want to be tagged as Tigers just at home and minnows in abroad like other teams of South Asia. Other teams from South Asia like Pakistan, Sri Lanka and even India dominate others in home condition but look pretty ordinary when they play in South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.

Off Course Pakistan do not play international cricket at home for a while. Sri Lanka is struggling everywhere after retirement of Kumara Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene, and Tillakaratne Dilshan in the recent past. We hope Bangladesh wound not go through that process once five quality senior players also will choose to retire.

Mashrafe is already not available in Tests and T20Is. We need quality players in the pipeline, we need to groom them under green shadows of quality seniors. Domestic cricket is only a breeding ground.

Our domestic cricket must get priority. Wickets, playing facilities, media attention have rooms to improve. Many players playing so consistently well in domestic cricket deserve better attention.

Immediate past team management revisited:

We were talking about future of Bangladesh cricket on local TV talk shows over the last few days. Omar Khaled Rumi, Ishtiaque Ahmed and Tareq Aziz Khan were with me in different programs. All agreed that Bangladesh need much improved domestic cricket formats, facilities and much better care and attention of key players.

International players cannot be taught new lessons or techniques. But they definitely can be mentored and fine-tuned. Coaching stuff are meant for that. We cannot say that these were done as expected over the past few years when very expensive Head Coach staying in comfort in his adopted home in Australia most of the time.

He did not care spending time watching his charges and emerging talents in domestic cricket. He did not care to mentor individuals. He developed unfriendly relations with Director of Cricket Operations Naimur Rahman Durjoy, Head of Selection Committee Faruque Ahmed.

He also created mental issues with five seniors. It was for him talented cricketers like Mominul Haque and Nasir Hossain were cornered. Vastly experienced Abdur Razzak , Naeem Hossain , Anamul Haque , Shahriar Nafees , Tushar Imran were continuously ignored.

Bangladesh could not create a reliable pipeline of talented cricketers. We are not sure about future of Bangladesh cricket when all five senior cricketers would eventually hung up their bats. The immediate past tenure of former Head Coach could not create foundation for sustainable success yet.

Rather his exclusivity in team management created sense of insecurity among all players. His short circuit links with senior policy makers breaking the usual protocol made him a very unpopular figure in Bangladesh Cricket at the last stage of his assignment.

Perhaps he could also feel that and resigned very unprofessionally without due notice. The last two matches witnessed a complete change of body language of team Tigers. The dropping shoulders of players are up again and looking great. After the nightmare of the past, Bangladesh Cricket is back again in morning glory.

Looking deep into the future:

We need match winners in all departments batting, bowling and fielding. We have majestic Mashrafe inspiring in ODI. We have the world best all rounder in all formats Shakib leading our Test and T20I teams.

Terrific Tamim is more matured and more resourceful. Stress free Mushfiqur and Mahmudullah are looking more energetic. Talented Mustafiz has recovered from trauma in his post rehabilitation period. Rubel is looking joyful again. Sabbir and Nasir would deliver as expected from them.

We are sure Taskin, Soumya and Anamul would be back in business soon. Saifuddin has all elements for growing as a genuine all-rounder. Mominul must be allowed to showcase his talents in ODI as well apart from his already proven role in test. Mosaddek, Shanto and at least two very talented pace bowlers are in the pipeline needing mentoring and fine tuning.

Home grown coaches must get priority:

We think it is high time Bangladesh considers a team of home grown coaches to the level of coaching stuff of national team. We need pace bowling coach and trainer for physical conditioning from abroad. But there is no reason why batting coach, spinning coach and head coach can not be coming from Bangladesh.

Local cricket coaches have done admirably well under local coaches. Salahuddin, Sarwar Imran, Fahim, Pilot, Wahidul Gani and some other local coaches have been mentoring and coaching many local talents for a long time.

Our own Bulbul is coaching in China, Korea, Thailand and other countries. He served ACC for several years and now working in ICC as a development officer. This writer has eye witnessed how he is respected in international area.

Bangladesh is playing the present series under guidance of Khaled Mahmud Sujon. Why BCB hesitated naming him as interim head coach? If it works well why not? Why pride of Bangladesh Cricket Aminul Islam Bulbul not be given opportunities he deserves? Why local coaches like Salahuddin, Sarwar Imran can not be in the coaching stuff?

Bangladesh cricket has reached a stage when home grown talented coaches can deliver. Aminul has required qualifications, proven track records of coaching. He is also liked by senior players. Bulbul may be introduced in coaching stuff or given charge of development squad or junior Tigers as soon as possible. ICC acknowledges the knowledge and professionalism of this Icon Bangladesh cricketer.

NRB Bangladeshis have role:

We are aware that many NRBs living in England, Australia and South Africa can assist Bangladesh in many ways. It is very much possible for some NRBs having cricket in their heart can work with cricket system in respective countries to bring talented young cricketers for training.

Not long ago some players were sent to Cricket academy in Australia. That can start with the active assistance of NRBs living in Australia. Young Cricketers can be sent to England and South Africa as well.

If players are not exposed to playing conditions in those countries Bangladesh would continue to struggle in Australia, England, New Zealand and South Africa. NRBs and PBOs living in England should try creating opportunities for Rubel, Taskin, Soumya, Anamul, Mominul and others playing league cricket in England.

Development squad and Bangladesh ‘A’ team must regularly go on tour to Australia and England. Many Bangladeshi conglomerate companies can sponsor such tours.

We must remember that Bangladesh is in mission now for elevating its status to top five. We have to break that barrier. Task is not easy at all and challenges can not be met without ensuring professionalism at all level. People having no proven cricket past should not continue crowding BCB policy making level.

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