If one takes the pain to list the merits coming out of recent Bangladesh cricket,
fan enthusiasm will be sure to hover around the top, and that both in capacity
and intensity. And widespread enthusiasm has always worked as a self-stimulus
in uplifting the concerned field of interest.
Besides the obvious effects, it may not hurt to add some deliberate bolstering
in the process. As far as amenities and accommodations are concerned, currently
we are in a state arguably better than any time before, and improving (hopefully).
But, in spite of the recent improvements in all the areas such as batting, bowling
and fielding, we seem to be dwelling on a quasi-euphoric-plateau of developmental
stage for quite sometime. This may not necessarily be looked at as a very problematic
state, as these intermittent plateaus, along with the developing ascents, create
the staircase to success. But nevertheless, to keep it on the course we need
those ascents, even if sometimes with deliberate thrusts.
One thing that Dave Whatmore mentioned while giving vent to his exasperation
at the outcome of the ODI series against the West Indies that seemed to be as
important as anything else for the development is about the players setting
their own personal targets. Our players definitely have their own personal targets,
but there are always places to improve. Understandably, cricketers very often
tend to set their targets in comparison with what have been achieved by their
fellow players, past or present. Given the immeasurable gap that prevails between
Bangladesh and other countries in both respects, we cannot completely blame
our cricketers for their apparent shortage of self-esteem.
Talking about esteem, achievement begets recognition, and recognition gives
birth to esteem. And even though 'esteem assisting in achievement' completes
the cycle, we need not wait to get the 'Chicken and Egg' puzzle solved. There
might as well be other ways to get around with this self-esteem problem.
Of course, while this issue is more of a cultural and psychological one, it
nevertheless bears tremendous importance towards the advancement of the sport
in the international arena. In addition to what the therapists and other specialists
are doing in this sector, there might be several other ways to attack this problem.
I would like to propound an idea of monetary incentive, sponsored, possibly,
by corporate bodies. Announcement of awards for each small achievement in the
field may go step-by-step with the players' course towards team success. Given
the interest the corporate bodies are taking in the sport, it might be easy
to convince them to pursue this scheme. Awards may be declared for all the wins,
hundreds, fifties, catches, wickets, running-outs, stumpings, partnership records,
man-of-the-match's, double/triple hundreds and hattricks, and for reaching personal
landmarks. As it happens, these awards will eventually grow out of its monetary
value and acquire the status of accolades resembling minuscule mileposts along
the path of personal achievement.
While this is just one idea, fans will hopefully be spawning numerous ideas,
which will be easy to put into work. At least that will be one of the merits
of fan enthusiasm.