Posts Tagged ‘habibul bashar’

The recent exodus of Bangladeshi players to the ICL, and their subsequent 10-year ban from playing for Bangladesh, will clearly be a massive setback for the national team. Even before this takes effect, however, there is evidence that, in ODI terms, the team is getting worse.

What can be done about this? Well, reducing the available talent pool due to the ICL ban obviously doesn’t help. Playing against the best more often should help development, but the limited resources of the BCB, as well as their political dependence on the BCCI, may prove to be more difficult obstacles to overcome than even the absence of former stars such as Habibul Bashar.

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Money seems once again to be dictating the future of cricket as 13 players, including former captain Habibul Bashar, have resigned from the national side to join the newly-formed Dhaka Warriors in the ‘rebel’ Indian Cricket League.

Calling it a rebel league makes it sound a bit more attractive, really, doesn’t it? It’s the James Dean or Marlon Brando of cricket leagues. The IPL is the Matthew McConaughey of leagues.

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The Asia Cup 2008 gets underway on Tuesday, with the ‘established’ Indian, Pakistani, Sri Lankan and ‘semi-established’ Bangladeshi (no link because the official site ‘may harm your computer‘) teams competing against the ’emerging’ UAE and Hong Kongese sides.

Group A

  • Sri Lanka will be looking to recapture the One-Day form that brought victory over England, but which has been absent more recently. Ajantha Mendis, who I’ve mentioned recently, will be one to watch, and the six over-30’s in the squad will shoulder much of the responsibility as usual.
  • The United Arab Emirates are hoping that a blend of youth and experience will help to produce the kind of performances that suggest they have a good chance of qualification (following good results in the World Cricket League last year) for the 2011 World Cup. Obviously, the UAE will be looking for performances rather than results from this tournament, but they could give Bangladesh a scare if they play out of their skins. Saqib Ali has a first class average of 55, and is likely to be the main source of runs.

Group B

  • India showed both sides of their recent form in the Kitply cup, hammering Pakistan in the group stage, then leaking runs like nobody’s business in the final. Gambhir was impressive throughout the tournament with the bat, and RP Singh, amongst others, continues to show real promise with the ball.
  • Hong Kong, who will be taking part in the World Cricket League Division 4 in October, are almost certain to be unceremoniously crushed by both India and Pakistan. Courtney Kruger could make things slightly more respectable with a few runs, but any difference will be marginal.

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