Bangladesh can only look forward with optimism after their exit from the World Cup © Getty Images
Bangladesh can only look forward with optimism after their exit from the World Cup © Getty Images

 

By Faisal Caesar

 

South Africa shut the door on Bangladesh’s chances of playing in the quarter-final of the 2011 World Cup. But the manner in which the Tigers were hunted down was simply awful. Bangladesh surrendered meekly. That was truly tragic.
But the world moves on. And Bangladesh cricket will have to move forward as well. Defeats are a part of sports and the best way to move forward is by accepting it and learning from it to prepare for the future.

 

So where does Bangladesh cricket go from here? One thing the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) might do in haste is to effect a change in the captaincy. To me, it’s not a smart thing to do. Shakib Al Hasan’s captaincy has been brilliant and has the abilities required to lead a side in international cricket.
In this World Cup, Shakib was a smart operator, but sadly the Bangladesh batting let him down in crunch games. Perhaps the pressure of a mega tournament affected his own form, but even the best are squeezed by such pressures and it must not be forgotten that Shakib is just 23. Surely the experience will make him a more matured captain in future.
The BCB would do well to engage a batting consultant. The Bangladesh batting simply lacks the skill and temperament to survive against the top attacks of the world. And the one way to get better is for Bangladesh to play the stronger teams like South Africa, Australia and England. Else, the team’s progress will be slow and minimal.
The BCB might not extend Jamie Siddons’s contract for another season. That means Bangladesh cricket will be searching for a new coach. The BCB should seek professional coaches from Australia and England. Bowling coach Ian Pont and the fielding coach must continue. Ian Pont had been brilliant for our bowlers.
Bangladesh has improved immensely over the years. They are not world cricket’s whipping boys any more. Apart from their disappointing displays against the West Indies and South Africa in this World Cup, they have been praiseworthy otherwise. What they lack is consistency.

 

The dream of playing in the quarter-final has been smashed. Perhaps the fragile temperament had been a major factor in Bangladesh’s downfall. A sport psychologist might be of immense help.

 

Bangladesh cricket fans need to show faith in their national team. They need to be positive and encouraging – especially when the team is down. This is not the end of the story of Bangladesh cricket. This is not a Shakespeare tragedy, with unfulfilled ambition, revenge and eventually the fall of would-be heroes. Bangladesh cricket will come back strongly. Make not mistake about that!

 

(Faisal Caesar is a doctor by profession whose dream of becoming a cricketer remained a dream. But his passion is very much alive and he translates that passion in writing about the game)