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A pleasant victory in cricket



Sun, 9 Jun 24

What a wonderful comeback! And it has happened as desired and in due time. It was much needed for the revival of the image in international cricket. The sky of cricket has cleared of clouds. The rays of light are visible. We were all looking towards that light. Our hopes from before are still there. We want rich cricket. We want healthy competition on the field.

In a joint effort between the United States and the West Indies, in the 'D' group of the ninth World Cup, against Sri Lanka (who have won the World Cup once and have been runners-up twice), in their first match, they secured victory by 2 wickets. However, this win has brought a lot of joy, as it hasn't just changed the country's cricketing fortunes overnight but has also brought a significant turnaround.

The game of extracting constructive criticism and criticizing individuals and communities, particularly against individuals, whether understood or not, and playing for personal and collective interests, will cease for now. Cricket in the country has never been just about a few individuals; it's about the emotions and love of 17 crore people. It's marked as a significant nationalist force.

Victory not only boosts self-confidence but also inspires, strengthens courage, and enhances mental strength—it solidifies the morale of believing in one's own capabilities. It strengthens the determination to reach the goal. The inception of visionary ideas begins within the mind. If everyone collectively engages in responsible cricket, many possibilities can be achieved. When the time aligns with capabilities, any team in the T20 format becomes unstoppable.

Bangladesh took to the field against Sri Lanka with tremendous pressure (pressure is inevitable in cricket. It's about managing that pressure and playing with enjoyment). The reason being that Bangladesh had faced significant criticism before stepping onto the field in the T20 World Cup. However, despite that, the players were able to honor people's expectations (through good performance) and secured a victory by two wickets. However, Bangladesh has won the match, making an easy game challenging. Yet, this victory feels sweet. This victory signifies another kind of experience. In cricket, team games make everyone a part of victory and defeat. However, it must be said that the bowlers were the main contributors to this victory, with their aggressive bowling and outstanding fielding.

It must be said that currently, some players in the top order are struggling and are 'out of form'. There is no doubt that this is causing anxiety. At the moment, there seems to be no solution for the Bangladesh team other than accepting it. Our cricket is suffering from the apparent absence of good performers. Selectors are saying that out of 17 crore people, finding 25 players who can occupy a squared position will not be possible. The fact that such players are missing necessitates serious work.

In the match against Sri Lanka, we noticed Liton Das scoring 36 runs with confidence. It's pleasing to see him overcome his off form. This is inspirational for the team. We need to consider the positions and responsibilities of key players like Soumya Sarkar, Najmul Hasan, and Shakib Al Hasan. They need to step up from the batting patch. As a captain, Najmul Hasan has shown skill in utilizing bowlers on the field. Improved fielding was evident in the first match. The physical language of players on the field has been well observed. It should be understood that Captain Najmul needs to perform himself to inspire the entire team. However, how much Bangladesh team can leverage the victory against Sri Lanka in the future remains to be seen.

Bangladesh team managed to win the match by scoring 125 runs for 8 wickets in 19 overs in response to Sri Lanka's 124 runs for 9 wickets. It's worth noting that they made the easy game challenging. If the batters hadn't demonstrated their capability, it wouldn't have been possible to win despite losing so many wickets. This is indeed a lesson for the batsmen. Mahmudullah showed excellent batting skills, scoring 40 runs, and remained unbeaten with the wickets falling around him. He has been in good form lately, consistently contributing to the team's success. Experienced cricketer Mahumudullah has demonstrated his ability to execute his tasks effectively. He scored an unbeaten 16 runs off just 13 balls. The biggest thing is that his experience has played a significant role in this victory. His role was crucial. Cricket pundits have repeatedly mentioned Mahmudullah's contribution.

In bowling, Mustafizur has managed to maintain his IPL form. He sent three opposition batsmen back to the pavilion for just 17 runs. The other two pacers, Taskin and Tanjim, also contributed with the ball. They took 2 and 1 wicket respectively. On the other hand, leg-spinner Rishad Hossain claimed 3 wickets for just 22 runs. Rishad Hossain has been awarded the Man of the Match award. Cricket experts have long been talking about the potential of the young leg-spinner Rishad Hossain. They have praised his abilities and suggested that Rishad Hossain will be identified as a 'match winner' in some matches.

The victory of the Bangladesh team against Sri Lanka was the result of planning, execution, and process. There is no opportunity to take cricket outside the realm of emotional involvement. If there is a lapse in momentum and focus, disaster is inevitable. Cricket is only for a few days, and once it's over, there's no problem in transitioning to various fields worldwide.

The restructuring of teams is underway in the T20 cricket version. It's encouraging to see some young players taking on responsibilities in this format, thereby showcasing their abilities. This is promising for the future of cricket. Everyone is progressing in cricket, especially in the T20 format. In that context, why do representatives from a country of 17 crore people come together to play random cricket? Why won't they be able to play T20 cricket in the same way it's played?

Author: Columnist and Analyst. Former Senior Vice President of the AIPS, Asian. Lifetime member of the Bangladesh Sports Press Association.

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