Less in performance, more in press conference

Tanvir Ahmed | Monday, 8 November 2021

People of Bangladesh, regardless of class, gender, age or any other criteria, are cricket fanatics. 

A garments worker, after all the hard work and overtime duty, sit in front of the TV to watch the Tigers play. A migrant in the Middle East, who works in a skyscraper, keeps all the updates about a Bangladesh match. 

Students from school, college or university go crazy whenever there is a cricket match of Bangladesh. Rickshaw pullers do listen to Radio commentary on their phone. 

They know that the Tigers are not so good a team that would win every game. But they hope that they will; they hope so because cricket is a part of their emotion. For them, cricket is the breathing space after a day’s hard labour, after hours of brainstorming.

They consider the cricketers their heroes and believe that they will fight it out until the last ball is bowled. They believe that their heroes will throw their cent per cent out there in the middle to snatch a win.

And then, in most cases, let alone winning, the players are making a mess even of the basics. Their morale is down, shoulders are dropping. And the fans agonisingly witness that their heroes have accepted defeat even before the game is far from over.

Out of frustration, they explode in anger and anguish. They criticise the players hard, not because they do not love those players anymore, but because they love those players so much that they cannot bear such pains over and over again.

Then comes one of the senior players at the post-match press conference. While he is supposed to restore belief among those fans in disbelief, he suddenly decides to fight back by gunning them down.

From nowhere does he manage to produce a bombshell, “I would say the critics without logic should see their own faces in the mirror. They do not play for Bangladesh, we do.”

Firstly, yes, it is true that not every cricket fan comes up with constructive criticisms. But at the same time, such constructive ones should not be expected from all of them either.

Coming up with constructive criticisms is the responsibility of the media and the cricket analysts, not the fans of the team.

Definitely, personal attacks or hate comments on families should be reprimanded. But the rights of the fans to express their emotions should never be questioned irrespective of how big a name one has become.

If one wants to be loved and celebrated when things go just as he wants, one should also be ready to get scolded when things go wrong.

Secondly, since they really are the first generation of superstars in the country's cricketing picture, most of them, as a result of the massive stardom they enjoy, might have forgotten that they are not the only ones who represent the country.

In fact, most people at the international level do not get to learn about the country ‘Bangladesh’ due to cricket.

Rather, most of them do receive so from the tag ‘Made in Bangladesh,' from the infrastructures in the Middle East, from the innovative business ideas, from the astonishing STEM projects, and so on.

It is true that the players do take painkillers while representing their country. But there are people who sacrifice a lot more for very little recognition.

Those people, however, do not feel disappointed at that absence of recognition because they understand that the tasks that they undertake regularly are just small parts of their jobs. It is their professionalism that helps them realise the fact.

Professionalism – the one concept that is completely non-existent in the culture of the entire cricketing community, if not the country.

And it raises a question that we might never get an answer to - is criticism so hard a pill to swallow?


The writer is currently studying at the Institute of Business Administration, University of Dhaka (IBA-DU). [email protected]