Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Thursday, September 25, 2008



By Osama Rahman

Exactly what happened in days leading to September 13th, still eludes many. The sudden resignation of 7 cricketers to play in the ICL, threw Bangladesh Cricket's progress into jeopardy. With the impending series of New Zealand, hanging precariously over our head, the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) was shocked and appalled. The reaction across the cricket-crazy nation is very much mixed. While some condemn the action, others support it. Whereas some quarters complain about the lack of patriotism, others blame the BCB.

With so much money coming into the game, something of this sort was bound to happen, but no one thought that Bangladesh would be the victims. After some attempt by BCB, apparently, to coax the players back into the national fold failed, the players were slapped with a 10-year ban. Habibul Bashar, the most successful skipper of Bangladesh and one of the rebel players, expressed shock at BCB's decision. He also expressed his hurt, as he felt the punishment was unfair, considering his years of service. However, his case could be considered. At 34, he had done enough and now had to think about his future. The lucrative offer, in the region of $200,000, would only serve to secure his future.

However the youngsters, such as Shahriar Nafees, Alok Kapali, Tapash and Dhiman Gosh, should not have acted in such a manner. The very idea of blaming the BCB for failing to match ICL's offer is ridiculous. Firstly, the money being poured into such leagues is unheard of in cricketing quarters and no country would be likely to match such offers. The complaints of getting less time on the pitch is also laughable. There were times when greats such as Tendulkar, Lara and Wasim Akram were overlooked by their respective teams, but that didn't mean they would tender their resignation. The ICL may not have been there then, but county cricket promised bags of riches too. Maybe these Bangladeshis should derive inspiration from Saurav Ganguly who has been overlooked by Indian selectors on many occasions, but has always decided to fight his way back into the team. That is called determination and patriotism. How dare these players think their places in the team to be granted? Mediocre performances, repeatedly, doesn't land anyone a regular place, so why should these mediocre players be exempted from this rule? Someone better should always be given a chance and if that player performs, we should be happy, as it means good for our country's national team.

If the complain is that our players aren't getting into IPL, then that isn't anyone's fault. Players are selected and big amounts are paid for them on account of their performances on the field, not because of their big talk off the field. The players have been selfish and unprofessional and have degraded the green of our national team. This is a sad day for Bangladesh indeed. Sure we may follow the progress of Dhaka Warrior's, but then progress isn't promised. And with a crop of 'professional' whose commitment to their nation is nil, expectations can't be too high for Dhaka Warriors. The ban should effectively discourage others from professing their disloyalty. And we can look to the future with hope, knowing that those that couldn't care for much else than cash are all gone and we have a team that cares about the pride of our nation. Good luck, Bangladesh!


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