Just the other day an eminent professor from Harvard has propounded a theory that ?running? and the accompanying physical fitness as a result of evolution has helped us grow big brains.1 Irrespective of the controversies such theories generate we can all agree that millions of years of endurance running has certainly helped us as a species to hunt, run long distance, stand in midday sun for hours and above all play cricket. You may ask what all this has to do with Bangladesh cricket. Well think again. It is about that magical word ?endurance?. And how about another nagging word that is often mentioned in tandem with Bangladesh cricket: fitness.
Hunting is a tedious and exhausting affair and so is cricket. Moreover, at test level, those extra minutes of stamina that premium physical fitness offers do make a tremendous difference between success and failure. And so it is with disbelief that I read that certain of our national players feel that ?too much? emphasis is put on the physical fitness regime. Even allowing for the fact that the domestic clubs offer a more substantial compensation package in lieu of time spent at the National camp it is unacceptable. 2
As such, I feel it is rather academic to report on who attended the camp and who opted out when there are lingering differences of ?attitude? about test preparation. Especially two weeks before a major series. Fitness testing, as a means of optimizing the physical potential of players, should be a core concern for any sports. Thankfully, with the expert attention of our new fitness coach, it is being taken care of in the case of the slow but sure recovery of Mr. Habibul Bashar, whose recent absences had been unpalatable. But, in my opinion, grumblings about too much fitness training from the more or less fit ?Test? players should not even be entertained by any quarters. It smacks of persistent ignorance or even worse about negligence on the part of those National players.
By now most of us have realized that we have a very long way to go to realign our cricket culture and meet the challenges of test cricket. Nevertheless, it is immensely heartening to witness the sheer eagerness and unbounded enthusiasm of our youth who hold so much promise. During the training session at BNS 3 U-17 players: left arm fast bowler Aslam Khan; Nipu; and an emerging talented spinner Suhrwardy Shuvo were all busy either meticulously tracking the balls between bowler and batsmen or diligently working on their promising deliveries.
National Development Coach McInnes has astutely pointed out that those young players like Nipu and Aslam have a handful of technical hurdles to overcome. But to their advantage they are very young. They have better physical attributes and with improving nutrition the generation after this will be even better endowed. So with proper guidance we could see the emergence of a new breed of players. A breed of players that will be instilled with the right attitude. To bring forward that day closer we need to reinvigorate everything in our development chain and infuse it with the right objectives and matching strategies. The good news is that this is being implemented as we speak with the introduction of the strategic plan in preparation for the U-19 2006 championship. 3
After a seemingly monotonous training day I slowly made my way out of the relative serenity of BNS and through gate 2 to the noise facing me outside. Suddenly, Aslam once again quietly approached me. He slowly came to his point and concern at heart - ?so bhai what did coach have to say about my bowling today?? After conveying some reassuring words I left the ground. And I left confident that one point of the strategic plan is slowly being implemented - ?player ownership and responsibility?.
- Harvard University Gazette
- The Daily Star
- Summary of Strategic preparation plan for U-19 championship 2006
The author is a moderator of banglacricket forum and goes by the nick "oracle" - editors