“All blame is a waste of time. No matter how much fault you find with another, it will not change you”.
Bangladesh were the hot favourites to win the Tri-series tournament at their own backyard and break the hoodoo of losing finals. The Tigers started off in flying colours and as the tournament progressed, they were turning out to be pretty invincible. They mauled Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe in a commendable fashion during the pool matches and even though dress rehearsal for the finals with Sri Lanka ended up with eggs on the face, still, they were regarded as favourites in the final.
But, sadly, winning a final remained a dream for the Tigers as, under Chandika Hathurusingha, the Lankans scripted a memorable comeback to instill hope among the Lankan fans who almost lost faith in their men. In the most crunch game of the tournament, Bangladesh panicked yet again. Definitely, the temperament of the team has come under scrutiny while Bangladesh’s move to go for three desperate changes in a major match, picking the ill-equipped players and inability to bat with calm and composure under pressure should be a matter of concern for Bangladesh cricket’s think tank.
Two days after the final and with Test series knocking at the door, the discussion is not about cricket’s technical aspects or solving the problems, but, Bangladesh cricket fraternity is busy about a conspiracy theory regarding the chief pitch curator Gamini Silva.
A private television channel named Channel 71, indirectly pointed a finger towards Gamini and reported, they’ve allegations, Gamini was seen in a discussion with the Sri Lankan coach and cricket authors before the final in the Academic building of BCB. The reporter of the channel dubbed, Gamini might have given secret information to Sri Lankan authorities about the pitch.
Then they reported, Bangladesh wanted a batting wicket but Gamini gifted them a slow-and-low wicket. The channel complained, Gamini was advised not to water the pitch before the day of final, but Gamini watered the pitch and did not bother to listen to BCB Officials and according to them, it might have aided to change the nature of Mirpur track.
After watching the report, I was left laughing.
The whole story was based on mere speculations without any solid proofs.
First of all, Gamini and Chandika Hathurusingha and Sri Lankan cricket authorities are both from the same country and one would not be surprised if someone spends a bit of time with his fellow countrymen. But how can one be so sure, Gamini leaked information about the pitch to Chandika and others? Was the reporter or his sources or any officials of Bangladesh Cricket Board present during that meeting?
Now, if someday, anyone from Bangladesh becomes a coach or curator of any foreign teams and suppose, Bangladesh face that team one day in a crunch game, should the media of that foreign team point finger towards their Bangladesh official for having a candid conversation with his fellow countrymen?
Surely, it would be funny and at the same time silly to doubt about someone’s commitment at this level and when you start to point fingers without solid proofs, the whole thing becomes a butt of jokes in the international arena.
Gamini is an ICC Official and at the same time, he had been a very competent Policeman. Before becoming the chief pitch curator of Bangladesh, he joined the ICC’s International Panel of Umpires and Referees in 2002, as a specialist third umpire and has also been the third umpire in a further 8 Test matches between 2000 and 2009. He also umpired 21 One-day Internationals between 1999 and 2009, and two Twenty20 Internationals, most which were played in Sri Lanka.
He is a professional and being a Policeman, he knows about the whereabouts of rules and regulations. He is well aware of the consequences of leaking information or twisting the nature of wicket and thus, before questioning the commitment and professionalism of Gamini one must have a solid proof.
It’s a logical world and even anyone wishes to establish his conspiracy theories, he or she needs to back his or her theories with concrete evidence.
Secondly, Gamini has been blamed for watering the pitch before the day of final! Now, is there any rules in the ICC or MCC that a pitch cannot be watered or irrigated before the day of a match? MCC’s Law 9.4 about watering the pitch says, “The pitch shall not be watered during the match”. But nowhere, it said, it cannot be watered before the match.
Moreover, a pitch curator knows very well how to care about the track.
To keep a surface fresh and firmer during the match day, a curator has every right to water the pitch if he finds it too dry and giving evidence of development of larger cracks. For a typical 20-minute watering during pitch preparation, 500-800 litres of water is used and as far as the so-called cricket experts of this land are concerned, they would be well aware of how much water is needed to make a pitch damp, uneven or dangerous.
None can waste plenty of water even if he wishes to plot a conspiracy as everything is monitored strictly in an ICC recognised match.
Moreover, a curator can water the area surrounding the track and not the track specifically before a match day.
Did anyone see Gamini to water the pitch specifically or the area surrounding the pitch?
Is there any honest witness or video evidence available?
Lastly, Bangladesh wished a batting wicket and in fact, in the last pool match against Sri Lanka, they were provided with a batting surface. But their innings lasted for a mere 24 overs. On the same track, Sri Lanka batted in a Twnety20 fashion to crush the home team. The wicket hardly had any uneven bounce but good bounce where the ball came well into the bat, but still, Bangladesh paid a heavy price for executing poor shots.
The wicket in final was a challenging one – similar like the wicket where Bangladesh thrashed Zimbabwe. Bangladesh were saved due to stubborn resistance by lower-order batters and brilliant bowling by the pacers. That wicket should have taught the Tigers about the importance of discipline, but they if someone fails to learn and execute then who should be blamed?
Chasing 222 runs was never an uphill task on that wicket of last Saturday and if anyone notices the dismissals of Bangladesh top order, no person with a sane brain cannot blame the wicket at all – Tamim Iqbal was dismissed while attempting a poorly executed pull shot, Mushfiqur Rahim was the victim of his emotional-sweep-shot-execution against a delivery which was easy to play with a straight bat while Sabbir Rahman displayed rush of blood which was unnecessary under the circumstances.
Can you really blame the pitch about such dismissals?
The so-called experts and conspiracy theorists must study how Mahmudullah Riyad played with a straight bat by emphasizing more on rotation of strike. He made batting look easy on that track as because he batted with enough composure. Had the top and middle order showed the same, Bangladesh might have broken the jinx of losing the finals.
Bangladesh media, fans and critics regard the Tigers as one of the best teams in world cricket and if they believe such, they should not be searching for conspiracy theories but would expect their men to perform on any tracks and conditions.
According to John Burroughs, “A man can fail many times, but he isn’t a failure until he begins to blame somebody else”.
When a person starts to blame and give excuses, he is nothing but trying to hide his shortcomings and exposing the weakness of his character. Men of characters have always accepted their defeats and learned from them. As they know very well, by engaging in a blame game will not only hamper his overall constructive growth but also waste his valuable time and make him a fragile character to the people surrounding him.
The Tigers lost the match as they batted badly and Sri Lanka were the better team on that day.
They need to accept their mistakes, learn from them and move on.
The blame game and conspiracy theory are a very popular tool in Bangladesh. Be it in politics, social life or sports; a group of people have been using this tool in the most shameful manner day by day only to hide the mistakes and exploit the emotions of a group of young fans who are still at the learning phase of their life.
Such sort of dirty games has to stop.
Bangladesh cannot afford to become a laughing stock for such pathetic conspiracy theorists.