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BanglaCricket Article

Nazim Shirazi expounds on two crictical elements that make cricketers succeed.

Heart and Mental Toughness is Missing!

Published: 24th March, 2003


This is written as per request from Sham from The Tiger's Board. He wanted me to compare the players from the 70's and 80's to the current team.

I have not seen the new generation of cricketers in BD. Hence it will be unfair for me to compare them with us. Even if I had seen our current National players play, I would not compare.

I do not want to make any serious comment or judge them especially now that they are under the gun and have a nightmare of a World Cup. One upset win can change opinions amongst the same people who may be dogging our team at the moment. After all it is a game and we should always back our team.

By reading and following our present cricket on the inter-net, I think some of our players are exciting to watch when they get going. They are some very talented players who need to play with a lot more heart and passion no matter who they face. Some of our present players are talented but badly lack mental toughness. There is a combination of things that makes you a world-class player. Talent alone is not enough. We are also lacking team spirit, which is very crucial in any sport.

I do not totally blame the young players who are playing in a system that is doomed to fail. We may have some good days in the field but to consistently play at a high level, we need to have a serious look at our domestic cricket and the ineffective cricketing infrastructure.

However, I will try to briefly describe the strengths and weakness of the players. At the moment here are my thoughts without going into depth.

In the 70?s and 80?s, soccer was the main sport in BD. There was hardly any money involved in cricket. Most of the players those days played for the love of the game and were mostly involved in nurturing cricket after the independence of Bangladesh.

The strengths of the cricketers from 70?s and 80?s: (does not apply to all players)

  1. Played more for the love of the game than any thing else. (Money & fame)
  2. Played with a lot of heart and passion and some were mentally very tough.
  3. Some of the players had already played at a higher level prior to our independence so the standard of those players were better. The talented young players in the early 70?s had to compete against those players and some became as good or even better than the players from the pre-independence time.
  4. Senior players were highly respected by junior players that created a bond amongst the players of different ages and helped the team spirit.
  5. Some of us were capable of playing at the highest level and actually doing well. Unfortunately, we did not have a first class or test status. Who knows how far we could have gone with more resources, proper coaching, better management, support from the Government and worldwide media coverage.

Weakness of the cricketers from 70?s and 80?s: Some due to the lack of resources, proper couching and management. (Does not apply to all players)

  1. Most players lacked physical fitness to play at the highest level.
  2. We trained in an unscientific way like road running which is bad for the ankle, sheen, knees and back. Then, we did not give too much importance to strength training and stretching which is a key to physical fitness.
  3. Focused more on batting and bowling than in physical training or in fielding. Proper couching was not available. We had to watch, play and learn from the senior players.
  4. Played on bad pitches and on rough grounds which was a set back, as it is hard to be world class under those conditions. We did not play enough quality matches or toured to other countries to improve further. Cricket was not a priority.
  5. There were only about 20 to 25 high quality players. Some of the players who played in the first division were very ordinary and some were talented. There was a big difference in the quality of the players in the same division.

As for the question who is the best bowler I have played against. If I have to pick one bowler, I would name Chandrashekhar. He was a member of the celebrated quartet that spun India to many a win those days. He bagged 242 wickets from 58 Tests.


About the author(s): Nazim Shirazi needs very little introduction to those who follow Bangladesh Cricket. As a young teenager Nazim was a key member of the national team in the early 80s. He is one of the most gifted and talented cricketer Bangladesh has ever produced. He was a very reliable opening batsman for Bangladesh and a tremendous fielder from a very young age. BanglaCricket is honored to have Nazim as a member of our forum. He goes by the nick Nazim Shirazi.


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