The Financial Express

Waiting for Sangakara\'s self-fulfilling prophesy!

| Updated: October 22, 2017 16:36:33

Waiting for Sangakara\'s self-fulfilling prophesy!

Our 23-man national cricket squad is off to Australia for a 9-day conditioning camp on  their way  to playing  two Test matches and three ODIs and T-20's each, in New Zealand. They have a point to prove to themselves and to world cricket:   they can play as good on overseas pitches as they do on home ground. The  Tigers, therefore, are set to train intensively in Sydney to warm up to hard and bouncy wicket they will be playing on in New Zealand.
They are actually put on test in away matches. They have to replicate or at least approximate their   home series performances displayed against formidable sides, especially over the last  two years.
In this backdrop, Sri Lankan iconic now-retired cricketer Kumar Sangakara's parting words after the just-concluded BPL tournament sounded highly encouraging and inspiring. While expressing his happiness on being adjudged    Man  of the Match in the finals in which he helped   Dhaka Dynamites  to defeat  Rajshahi Kings, he admitted to a certain fear lurking  at the back of his mind!
Credited with having crafted many a win for Sri Lanka, he elaborated on his  'scare' thus: "I am not new to BPL, have been playing on this format for quite a while, and I must say that Bangladesh cricketers' performances with   both bat and ball in the latest BPL edition have been truly extraordinary." The relentless manner in which new  cricketers are coming up in  Bangladesh must be a  cause for 'worry' to other   nations, mused Sangakara graciously sharing the feeling with the media.
 He   pointed out that  in the recent past one could  have only cited Mashrafe, Shakib, Mushfique and Tamim as star cricketers of Bangladesh. But now they are  coming in droves; cutter specialist Mustafizur Rahman has rattled world class batsmen; and in spin bowling Mehedi Hassan is a new wonder boy! Besides, the performances of several batters and bowlers were eye-catching. See, Mahmudullah has lifted the Man of the Tournament award for his outstanding  batting. Sabbir's batting and the  bowling of Shahid and Safiul were brilliant.
"In cricket", concluded Sangakara, "Bangladesh are a well-established powerful national side-be it in Test, ODI and T-20." He is truly impressed by the emergence of new talents in Bangladesh.
He said, "Sri Lankan side is going to tour Bangladesh and that he is apprehensive as to how they   would fare against such a strong Bangladesh team." He frankly admitted that on current reckoning he would place Bangladesh ahead of Sri Lanka.
Coming  from Sangakara, a widely respected world class cricketer from the South Asian neighbourhood, his assessment of Bangladesh cricket exudes authenticity as well as  shared pride. The sharing comes from an almost analogous experiences  Sri Lanka and Bangladesh have had in terms of lows and upbeats in their cricketing legacies. Only perhaps we have taken a longer time to reach a world class niche. Besides, we have been the beneficiary  of  coaches from Sri Lanka, especially  Hathurusinghe who has made an important contribution to Bangladesh  emerging as a cricketing nation with reasonable consistency interspersed with series wins.
In the absence of structured inter-district or regional   competitions that other cricketing nations do have as the conduits for talent creation, it's the BPL though concerned with the shortest version of the game which prevails.
 It offers a platform for domestic cricketers to play with quality international players on hire almost at a rate comparable with what goes for the best in the country. That a cricketing career can be money spinning has sat very well on the minds of aspiring cricketers in the country. Alongside, its glamour, fiesta,  advertisement and sponsorship revenues and a modernist genre of sporting culture topping it up with English as the medium, BPL represents a certain globalism with a tourist and image enhancing profile.
In the end, it needs to be flagged off that certain corporate houses are bank rolling talent hunt projects. Beginning with pacer finds, this process awaits branching out in other departments of the game. Fiscal incentives can and should be dovetailed to endeavour.
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