The Tigers are on the verge of making history in a matter of days! They will take on the might of Cricket Australia?s finest for the first time. For the average cricket fan, this should be one of the least exciting of all test series, hardly worth following. Nobody wants to see a one-way, non-stop drubbing. Yet, to me, nothing could be further from the truth at the moment. Granted, the results so far have been far from decent- 18 bad losses in 19 are hardly the stuff of legend. Add to that our pathetic performance in the World Cup.
But it is the events since that gives me the greatest hope. We finally seemed to realize that our cricket is in real crisis. Today there is a real desire to reform our cricket infrastructure in the best interests of the game and make it a source of pride for our nation, not one of humiliation.
On the field, our cricket is headed the right direction as well. We have hired the best coach possible and given him all that he has needed. Only a fool would doubt that a nation of 140 million cricket crazed people doesn?t have the required talent at the highest level. Our boys had even shown sporadic glimpses of their abilities from time to time. What we were really missing was a qualified and experienced mentor who could refine these rough diamonds! And that we seem to have got in Dav Whatmore.
One can only imagine the magnitude of impact that this man has had on how our cricket is run in the short period that he has been around. We only see his impact on the cricket field. If we were to judge him solely by that, praise is what comes to mind. In the space of a month he has created a winning team and allowed the fans and well-wishers to raise their expectations far beyond they would have imagined possible just a month back. The tigers now seem to be full of confidence, self-belief, and determined to put up a real fight- a far cry from the Losers that represented Bangladesh at the World Cup .
Yet, all this is obvious to us because we have been following our cricket as closely as possible, examining and analyzing their performance after every match, first-class or not, test or not, ODI or not. So it is not that surprising when cricketers and others have made such dismissive comments about our chances in the upcoming test series. However, such talk can only be beneficial to us. It should spur some real determination in our boys. After all, they have a serious point to prove now.
This is a critical phase in our cricket history. I asked a multi-millionaire once, what was his secret? He said it was the first million which was the hardest to make! He said, ?Do what you have to do?save every penny you can?here and there?work hard?doesn?t have to be pretty?.make your first million?then the rest is easy!? Yup! That is what our Tigers have to do. This is the hard part.
On Friday, when they walk out on the Marrara Oval, they will be well on their way towards their first million. They have worked hard. They deserve to do well. Their fans deserve a good performance. The stage is set for a good contest. Go TIGERS!