Bangladesh’s humiliating defeat at the hands of West Indies provoked a public backlash with fans stoning the Windies team bus after the match in Mirpur © Getty Images


By Rajesh Ramaswamy


While all of Bangladesh is a flutter and indignant at the way their batsmen capitulated, the authorities (all of whom are former batsmen) have come out strongly that it’s the bowlers who are to blame. They felt that if the bowling had been more accurate, they could have easily defended the score, as it was a minefield of a pitch.


The Board agreed, but felt there was no use blaming the Bangladesh bowlers for not being accurate. It’s all in the genes, according to highly-placed sources. Consider how even their supporters have the same problem. They aimed for the Bangladesh bus and hit the West Indies bus instead! Now, a bus is not a small thing, and is definitely larger than a set of stumps, so the malaise obviously goes deeper.


The Bangladesh Cricket Board, in its infinite wisdom, is planning a new coaching system that will set things right from the grassroots level. They’ve set up Bus Stoning Sessions to teach supporters the basics at Mirpur, Dhaka, Chittagong, Khulna and Sylhet. Following the Australian model of borrowing from other sports, they’ve hired experts from Russia and Azerbaijan who have completed their ‘A’ levels in the National Sport of Molotov Cocktail Slinging.


The cricketing fraternity in Dhaka was a little nonplussed, but the officials pointed out how the basics were similar and if you could learn the skills when you were young, chances are you’d improve on accuracy as you grow.


A senior member of the Board also felt that this cross training would improve the throwing arms of the Bangladeshis as the idea was to hurl the ‘cocktail’ as far away as possible, at the risk of burning yourself.


With the grassroots programs in place, the Board has advertised for the services of foreign coaches, and having been assured that Aussies were the best, has taken out full page recruitment ads in the Sydney Morning Herald.


Unfortunately, even after two weeks, there have been no responses, as the word has gotten around in the cricketing alleys of Penrith, Parramatta and Bankstown that the supporters were to have originally stoned the coaches who trained the teams, not the coaches that transported them!


Last heard, the Bangladesh Cricket Board has shifted focus to Sri Lanka, after hearing unconfirmed rumours that their star cricketer Tillakaratne Dilshan was found stoned in Colombo.


We await further developments and shall keep you updated on who casts the first stone in this novel Development Program.


(Rajesh is a former fast bowler who believes he could have been the answer to India’s long prayer for an ‘express’ paceman. He regularly clocked speeds hovering in the late 80’s and occasionally let fly deliveries that touched the 90’s. Unfortunately for him, the selectors were talking ‘mph’, while he was operating in the metric lane with ‘kmph’. But he moved on from that massive disappointment which resulted from what he termed a ‘miscommunication’, and became a communications professional. After a long innings in advertising as a Creative Director, he co-founded a brand consulting firm called Contrabrand. He lives in Chennai and drives down to work in Bangalore…an arrangement that he finds less time consuming and stressful than getting from one end of Bangalore to the other.)