If you are insanely fond of winning in cricket, it’s a bad time. Bangladesh is running out of countries to be whacked by. The defeat by Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and then India has exposed the many weaknesses that we have. More importantly, it shows why we are not taken very seriously by other teams. We just don’t come across as worthy of the lofty standards we have claimed. In most other eyes, we are still wearing shorts ready to go to junior high school. Not a nice thing to say but we are not doing nicely either.
Sunil Gaavaskar has said what is on most minds. “Bangladesh is an ordinary team.” Ravi Shahstri said we must learn to win outside home. Another remarked, if we really know how to respect a test status. These are seriously tough words and should be taken seriously but all we have done is to push the comments under the collective amnesia of our national denial psyche. And we are all confident we are going to do well in future though we don’t know how.
But of course we are all happy now because as long as bad news doesn’t stare at us we are ready to believe that it doesn’t exist. So we have managed to forget all the nightmares of the tours and visits and life is back to normal. But is cricket back too?
What everyone is saying is that all the mess happened due to the absence of Tamim and Sakib. Great. I give that to the Indian tour but was that the case of the other two? And even if that is the case, are we saying that our team just has two players and the rest are “faltus”?. This is so absurd a suggestion that it deserves being taken seriously.
What it really means is that we are not a team yet. That it’s true we are a conglomerate of players who win when conditions are favorable and in our own backyard and that’s it. Our team’s, fighting and mental capacity is very limited and that’s why we shouldn’t be called a team. We are not a bunch of qualified players but media icons whom we make a lot of noise about and who pop and get out at the first chance.
We shouldn’t have expected so much from our team. The expectation was unfair. Our team doesn’t deserve it. We are not very good and that’s it. One day we may be better but that’s not today. Or it wasn’t yesterday either.
And what about the rest?
The thought that our miseries are limited to cricket is probably our grandest illusion. Take just two recent phenomenon- onions and transport sector. Although they have taken up much media space, the authorities have really failed to make a dent on the problem.
Most people have been using it for centuries but we have rarely had such a silly situation like the recent shortage. The point is simple: There is a demand –supply issue which is expected to be known to all who matter. So why this mess?
Surely, people know what the average consumption, production and import needs of onions are ?. Surely the massive government machinery does but it seems only the onion syndicate knows. Nobody was ready for pace bowling and even less for onions balls. It was suggested we consume less onions which is fine but it’s not a solution nor an answer to the incompetence which led to the crisis in the first place.
The recent court judgment on the bus-murder case was life imprisonment for three. People are happy with the judgment but not the state of roads. The existence of an entire private sector that is so dangerously out of control shows what good bowling can achieve against bad players. The sector managed to put pressure on the GOB to delay the implementation of the new law on roads showing where power lies. Even the Government can’t match that.
Why this is happening is not clear but what is clear is that not much is happening. The narrative of growth is undermined by the report that many countries with poorer growth rates have done better at poverty alleviation. That growth benefits have not been distributed to many and anti-criminality and corruption drives seem to be over after the high profile casino raids.
What we have managed to do is forget that we have problems. Just as bad cricket has disappeared simply because we are not playing, bad governance its hoped will disappear through time and divine grace because no one is doing much governance anyway. If that is a strategy to deal with poor achievements we are doing well.