Incidents such as these will put a question mark about ability provide security to the players © Getty Images
Incidents such as these will put a question mark about ability provide security to the players © Getty Images

 

By Faisal Caesar

 

I pricked my skin with a pin to check if I was having a nightmare. It was not a nightmare; it was reality, harsh reality. A total of 58 all out in 18.5 overs by a side which has played 10 years of Test cricket and which, in the last four months, had brilliantly to earn copious praise from the pundits. How on Heavens could such a team fold up so swiftly and so inexplicably!

 

After out-muscling the Irish just a week before, it was expected that Bangladesh would exhibit similar steel against the West Indies at Mirpur, in front of vociferous home supporters. But, in the end, they were stunned into silence. The nation was awash with gloomy faces.

 

The Bangladesh batting display was akin to schools cricket. It seemed that boys were playing against men. Tamim Iqbal flashed loosely at a Kemar Roach outswinger, Imrul Kayes feathered a short ball through to the ‘keeper, Mushfiqur Rahim – one of the cooler heads in the Bangladesh ranks – flicked loosely the fourth ball he faced to short midwicket. Darren Sammy had two for seven at this stage. Shakib Al Hasan showed no resistance, Raqibul Hasan fell while trying to slam a wide ball from Sammy and the rest of the batsmen showed no character to put up a fight against a pumped up West Indies side.

 

The manner in which Bangladesh batting surrendered against the Windies attack was a shame. Our batting has problems, but such brain implosion was completely unexpected. Our boys have hurt the expectations of 15 crore Bangladeshis who watch their team’s every match to get peace of mind amidst so many worries and pangs. Sadly, our boys have let them down.

 

But this is not the end of the world for Bangladesh. Even the best of teams in the world face such slumps. It has happened to the West Indies, England, Australia, India and Pakistan. But their cricket keeps moving on. And our cricket will have to do likewise. Losses are the best teachers as it exposes our mistakes from which we can learn. Perhaps this humiliation was needed.

 

We cricket fans of Bangladesh must show our ardent support towards our team when they are having a bad time. Our boys need our support during this tough period. We must show patience and maturity towards our cricket and the cricketers.

 

But sadly, we didn’t show enough maturity. The Mirpur crowd showed their anger by throwing stones at the West Indies cricketer’s bus. We have brought shame upon our nation by showing disrespect and going against our tradition of being a hospitable nation.

 

The T20 World Cup is scheduled to take place on Bangladesh soil in 2014. Incidents such as these will put a question mark about ability provide security to the players. We have a responsibility, too.

 

(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)