Tigresses triumph overseas as Tigers disappoint  

Marksman     | Published: July 17, 2018 22:18:37 | Updated: July 17, 2018 22:21:58

The  sharp  contrasts in the   performances  overseas between  our  women's national  cricket team and the men's  side  are    instructive, more for cricket managers and promoters  than perhaps  for  cricket lovers.

Less pampered than their male counterparts, our women cricketers  have proved themselves in world cricket, and carved a niche in their own right.

They have made winning a habit, and that  too   in away matches where they  had to  cope with tough pitch and playing conditions.  But while the  Tigers do relatively  well  on  home  ground , they  perform poorly  overseas. To be sure ,  the women are  leading the way there-- in terms of not just  acclimatising  with  overseas conditions  but  bringing  laurels as well.  

 So ,  we saw , to our fond surprise,  Bangladesh remaining  unbeaten throughout  Women's World T20 Qualifiers  round   having defeated  Ireland by 25 runs in the final in Netherlands  last Saturday. As champions  of the qualifying round in Group "A", they  now   play  against  the defending champions and hosts West Indies in the opener on November 9.

What is particularly illustrative of their  new-found yet hopefully  enduring   cricketing prowess is the triple title victory  in a row. The latest  triumph  has come about on the back of maiden success in the highly competitive  six-nation Asia Cup T20 and a bilateral T20 series win by 2-1 margin against  hosts Ireland in June.

All this commends for a planned, bank-rolled  promotion of women in  cricket, or for that matter, in the wider arena of   sports. Given that  we have earned a championship  in a prestigious  women under 19 football tournament coupled with  laurels  fetched in individual  events, it is time to build  pipelines  of sporting talents without  even unwitting  gender discrimination.

That  said, let's turn  to tragic  capitulation  of the Tigers in West Indies. The net result of that has the chilling  downgrading  of Bangladesh  among the ten Test playing countries. Whereas  for the first time we had moved to the eighth position in the ICC Test rankings in May 01 last year, we have slipped  to the  ninth place after being whitewashed by  the West Indies.  

Surely all this brings into a sharp focus  the abysmal failure  of the men's cricket team to live up to expectations, far less play to their  potential. Why? Because  of impulsive   captaincy decisions     writ large  on  arbitrary bowling changes witnessed in the first Test match in particular. The captain ought to be team a man - individual  records  are important only  when  they    add-on to the team's victory; otherwise they dangle in  vaporous isolation.

Echoing  some professional tips may I  suggest , 'Do not bandy about  difficult playing  conditions  including hard, bouncy   pitches overseas   when you have the option  of  preparing  such  wickets  at home  and getting used to playing on  them.' Finally , how could our  six top batters  with experience in   playing   fast bowling  allowed themselves to be so easily beaten for pace? No footwork, no  leaving  the risky balls, a customary practice in Test matches--- have they unlearned  some of their previously acquired skills ?They better work on their weak points to clinch the ODI and T20 series with the West Indies.

The triumphs of the Tigresses,  heartening as these have been, can't be a  redemption for the Tigers' debacles. They must shake off their lean period and assert themselves for their own sake. Nothing will be sadder than  going off the radar of reckoning.       




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