“Have I answered critics? No, never. This is the sports world. Here you go to the top and sometimes fall to the bottom. But you have to be confident during hard times. You need to have a smile and can never let that go.”
This was David Warner’s statement after his half-century against Sri Lanka in the last T20 World Cup. He was going through an extremely rough patch, critics were questioning his inclusion in the team and he proved everyone wrong in the event.
David Warner is a champion cricketer; reading the aforementioned quote, you can vouch for that.
Now let’s shift our focus to one of our own, Mushfiqur Rahim. Mushfiqur Rahim is famous on social media as the ‘Mirror man,’ since his controversial comments in the press conference during T20 World Cup last year.
He scored a half-century in that match, his first half-century in the format after 11 matches and two years, and also his first in five T20 World Cups he played.
He went on to score only 38 runs from the remaining four games of the World Cup.
Within less than a year, against the same opponent, on a different occasion, he once again does something similar. He scores a century, which of course demands discussion due to its slow nature on a pitch that was batting friendly, to say the least, and throws problematic comments which can be found insulting to many.
Although he scored a ton in the second innings as well, his first one came after 19 innings. He only managed to fashion four half-centuries in the previous 18 innings.
The fun fact is that Bangladesh failed to win the game from a favourable position. However, Mushfiq couldn’t care less about the team’s result as he straight jumped on to ‘attack’ others to get the praise for a century that is ‘not much effective.’
This once again makes him a social media talking point, an inherent nature of him which doesn’t suit a player playing 17 years of international cricket. These quotes mean that Mushfiqur doesn’t care for the team but for personal achievements.
Being the most experienced campaigner in the team, he is expected to be the first one to accept the mistakes for which his team didn’t win. But he is nowhere near it. He only comes in front of the press conference when he performs because he would have a point to make then.
The mentality of a champion should be to embrace the criticism and improve, something Mushfiqur clearly doesn’t possess.
This has what separated him from being a champion. Players like Kohli, Rohit, Warner, Willaimson, Smith and even Babar Azam started their careers so later after him. Yet they are rated much higher than him in all aspects. One would wonder why.
Because the first step of winning is learning to accept the mistakes and moving forward, not to wait and hit back the critiques when a good innings come.
Additionally, such mentality creates a toxic environment in the dressing room. A generation of our cricketers follow his footsteps. If they somehow possess this mentality like their idol, the future of our cricket is in serious trouble.
BCB should nip this in the bud before it’s too late, even if that means keeping him out of the squad.