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Sunday, June 19, 2005

minnows take over

It has finally happened – it has once again been proved that no one is invincible. Those who make such statements are usually forced to eat humble pie at a later date.

It’s all about cricket and how unpredictable a game it is.

The Aussies are the World champions, and consider themselves to be invincible. But, the Bangladeshis have shown that, given a determination to beat the best coupled with a dedicated performance by one and all, it is not impossible to turn the tables. Especially, with the cricketing world baying for their blood, they have proved that they can contribute their bit to make the game more interesting.

Soon after their poor performance in the Test matches in England, the team came in for severe criticism. Former Australian captain Merv Hughes made a statement that – ‘Bangladesh were not up to Test cricket standard and should, instead, be playing at a more realistic level….. It’s bad for the game. It belittles averages. And, it’s bad for spectators.’ Similar sentiments were expressed by Shane Warne – ‘the worst aspect is that I cannot see any light on the horizon for Bangladesh.’ Even Javed Miandad did not mince words when he commented that Bangladesh should be suspended from test cricket until they improve – ‘it is obvious now that Bangladesh cricket is going nowhere…’

Suddenly, this team has become a force to reckon with, overnight!

We, in India, thought of ourselves as the number two. But, over the months, we have dropped several places and may finally land up at the bottommost position of the table. Our star batsmen are turning out to be threats to a cohesive team who are itching to perform. Unfortunately, new faces are ignored. Sponsors who have invested millions in some of the old stalwarts, who once spelt money even now hope for the tides of fortunes to turn. News trickles out of how some of our boys are practicing overseas and are striving hard to return to form. Our sympathies go out to the newest addition to the Indian cricket fraternity in the form of Greg Chappell. He has a tough climb ahead of him.

Before the selection committee sits to finalize the team of the future, plenty of strings will be pulled. Let us pray that a day does not come when minnows take over the honors and leave us in the wilderness.

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