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Bangladesh join the big boys

Martin Gough | 18:46 UK time, Friday, 6 April 2007

Martin GoughGuyana - Habibul Bashar does not come across as the sort of person you would burn in effigy but that is exactly what happened when Bangladesh lost their last World Cup game, to New Zealand on Monday.

The sort of scenes that have been seen in India and Pakistan transferred across the borders to the country only granted Test status in 2000 and until recently still regarded as a young upstart.

Perhaps Bashar, who has come under fire for his own poor form despite leading his side to the World Cup second round for the first time, should view it as a compliment.

Habibul Bashar and Dav WhatmoreThe Tigers’ victory over India in the group stages was seen as an upset but anyone who has kept an eye on Bangladesh for the last two years – during which time they have beaten India and Australia – would have conceded it was always a possibility.

As Aussie captain Ricky Ponting said after handing them a 10-wicket thrashing in Antigua last week, Bangladesh should no longer be called minnows.

But if you want to play with the big boys you have to expect a few bumps and bruises along the way, and the next big boy is world number one South Africa on Saturday.

Coach Dav Whatmore admitted this week: “People are now not taking us as lightly as they may have done in the past. We’re no longer minnows but we need to up our performance a little bit more.”

Bangladesh can no longer play in cavalier fashion, with nothing to lose and everything to gain, so the burden shifts their way a little more.

Bashar, who seemed assured in front of eight television cameras at Friday’s media briefing, admitted increased expectations from the team and its fans had put more pressure on his players.

“We aspire a bit higher, we expect to do better than we did in the last games,” he said.

“Because we’ve been playing good cricket there has been expectation back home and that put us under a bit of pressure but that shouldn’t be an excuse.”

And when you mix it with the big boys, you can expect the mind games. South Africa skipper Graeme Smith’s brand is pretty bland but there is something about his glowering expression that turns it into a threat.

“They are caught in the middle at the moment,” said Smith of the Tigers.

“They’ve always been underdogs but now they’re in the Super 8 there is a lot of pressure on them back home to carry on beating top teams.

“That’s a different environment for them and those pressures are different.”

Playtime is most definitely over for Bashar and his boys.

Comments  Post your comment

  • 1.
  • At 07:35 PM on 06 Apr 2007,
  • Buzz wrote:

Please be realistic Mr Gough. I love the way Bangladesh have improved their performances and are starting to increase their chances of upsets with such talented youngsters but to place them with the big boys is a poorly founded article. Afterall, Sri Lanka before becoming big boys were at least winning home series against big boys back in the early 90s. Colombo was their couldron. The same cannot be said of Bangladesh at home. Be realistic and hold on to the patience.

Im sure the team don't want this extra pedestal just yet - let them earn it. We spoil cricketers and big them up too soon before they have justified their heroe status.

But in Bashar they have a great captain - and yes he is fantastic in front of the cameras.

This is great news for Bangladesh and for cricket as a whole. The whole idea of these younger teams coming into competitions like the World Cup and to tour long test playing nations is to improve their game and its wonderful that another team has joined the ranks.

  • 3.
  • At 08:12 PM on 06 Apr 2007,
  • Douglas Raymond wrote:

Martin Gough does it again. Talking plenty and saying very very little. Maybe it would be useful for him to take time out to actually figure out what he wants to stay first before his next blog. The Tigers just received yet another trashing from another of the big boys. How does that make them joint the big boys?

  • 4.
  • At 12:12 AM on 07 Apr 2007,
  • Sami wrote:

with the annoucement of dav whatmore considering to take the india post, i feel that this will have changed the attitudes of the bangladeshi players, but will it have a positive or negative impact. i hope it will be a the positive, and that the performance the players give will be as good as it was against india, maybe not good enough to beat them, but enough, so that the the crciketing nation know we can play good cricket, and a little faith goes a long way.
i was born in england, but my parents are of bangladeshi origin, my support lies with england, but in this sport, and when we are competing against teams other than england, i am a begal tiger, but the game against england that is soon approaching, will not test my loyalty. come on bangladesh, just one more win(against england).

  • 5.
  • At 03:19 AM on 07 Apr 2007,
  • Mohamed (Breado) wrote:

Truth be told... in Pakistan, India, B/desh, burning someone in effigy means you are somebody. They have nothing else to do.

B/desh will improve in time. B/deshis must be patient. Just look at N. Zealand - it took them a lot longer than B/desh to win one against the big boys. Of course, there were no ODIs in those days.

I understand that they have a good structure for the youths under 13 and up. Run by an Australian (name escapes me at the moment)
and several of the youths that grew up in the system are now in the team. Another 2 or 3 years plus a couple of fast bowlers and I think the test wins will come.


  • 6.
  • At 05:46 AM on 07 Apr 2007,
  • Md. Al Bokor wrote:

I liked Buzz's comment. I am a Bangladeshi. I think, our team is still behind on the mind game. What I beleive, todays cricket is all about mind game, skills are assumed default. No Lara, Ponting, Jayasuiya does matters. Its only those wins who have a better game plan and accomodates according to situations

  • 7.
  • At 09:57 AM on 07 Apr 2007,
  • Mafijur Rab wrote:

good luck Bangladesh, Inshallaha Tiger will play better cricket in days a ahead.

  • 8.
  • At 11:51 AM on 07 Apr 2007,
  • M M Kamal wrote:

Since the year 2000 when Bangladsh got its Test status, it has improved a lot.
Particularly by defeating the Indian team in round-1 and Tigers were able to secure their place in the super-8 of this World cup.

I think this is a great achievement for Bangladesi cricket team and in the comimg days
Tigers will continue to improve.

  • 9.
  • At 01:16 PM on 07 Apr 2007,
  • Muammad Saleem wrote:

It is right they are going to be better and better but comparing with big boys so early is a bit of mistake. The good thing about Bangladesh that it has few very young but very talented boys and in the approaching years they will be a strong force but let that time come. Don’t push unless it is required, let the time judge and we will all come to know whether they will make their ways among bigger boys. Of course they have shown symptoms but we will have to wait and see. The cricket in the subcontinent is hard to predict and Bangladesh is no exception.

  • 10.
  • At 01:25 PM on 07 Apr 2007,
  • Martin Gough wrote:

Buzz, it's not me conferring big boy status on Bangladesh, and with their last two results in particular they showed it's a pretty shakey premise.

However, one shock result is an upset but a series of them - as there have been over the last few years - mark a step up in standard, hence I suppose the raised expectations.

Douglas Raymond, sorry you feel that way. These blogs aren't supposed to be in-depth analysis, though. They're just an attempt to convey what is going on around the games and the teams. This is what people were talking about on the day before the game.

More in-depth stuff here:

  • 11.
  • At 02:59 PM on 07 Apr 2007,
  • John Kozlich wrote:

Miracles do happen. Bangladesh over South Africa thats a miracle????????????

  • 12.
  • At 03:38 PM on 07 Apr 2007,
  • Hansen wrote:


Australia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, New Zealand

Semi-Final 1:- Australia and New Zealand

Semi-Final 2:- South Africa and Sri Lanka

  • 13.
  • At 03:44 PM on 07 Apr 2007,
  • Ruwan Raja wrote:

I think they are still minoows until such time they start winning at least 20% of games agaisnt established teams...They win one or two games a year agaisnt established teams.


  • 15.
  • At 01:23 AM on 08 Apr 2007,
  • Haksar wrote:

BBC once again showed its color when it did not include Bangladesh victory on its main page, and neither under South Asia. One had to go to South Asia to find this write up. Congrats for maintaining your tradition.

Bangladesh batting was superb. None of you would talk about the pitch if RSA won. RSA were lost and bewildered against the Bangladesh bowlers. Smith's dismissal was a glaring example of how his batsmen ran away from the bowling and three of the catches, two c&b would put any top fielding side to test. Andre Nel needs to be fined for unsportsman like conduct.


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