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Bangladesh's bad behaviour


Bangladesh_bad_behaviour_CricketIn a list of countries that are most passionate about cricket, Bangladesh would rank no. 1, at least based on the emotions they wear on their sleeves. Their sentiments are always at a peak, irrespective of whether their boys win or lose. If the result is in their favour, the world becomes their oyster. If not, the world comes to an end.

The International Cricket Council recognised Bangladesh’s passion and chose it as the venue for the inaugural Champions Trophy and more than two Asia Cups, among a few other major events. These tournaments took place in Bangladesh when they were yet to carve their own niche in international cricket.

Their passion, however, has often transformed into bad behaviour, which is the difference between being passionate and being downright unprofessional. They have a history of making a huge issue out of umpiring decisions that go against them and they are also disrespectful towards their opponents, both on and off the field. And the inappropriate behaviour is not just restricted to the less-known, less-exposed to the world players; some of their top names endorse actions that rob cricket of its ‘gentleman’s game’ tag.

A history of crying foul over umpiring decisions

What unfolded at the virtual semi-final of the Nidahas Trophy between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka led the media to recall similar instances involving the behaviour of the Tigers. For the uninitiated, in the final over of the game the umpire did not signal a no-ball for a short-pitched delivery to Mustafizur Rahman from Isuru Udana.

Skipper Shakib Al Hasan walked down from the pavilion to the edge of the boundary, told the 4th official of his disapproval of the umpire’s call, and asked his players to come off the field. Tempers flared between the two teams due to this incident and a scuffle arising from a Sri Lankan player pushing Bangladesh reserve player Nurul Hasan, who was bringing on drinks for the batsmen on the field. Had better sense not prevailed, and the match not continued, Shakib could have led his team to forfeit the game and be disqualified from the series.

In the final of Asia Cup 2012, after Bangladesh lost to Pakistan by 2 runs, the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) wrote to the Asian Cricket Council (ACC), asking the ACC to review what they believed was cheating. As per the BCB, Pakistan fast-bowler Aizaz Cheema deliberately blocked batsman Mahmudullah from completing a second run. However, it was dismissed as a genuine collision between the two.

Another instance is from the 2015 World Cup quarterfinal against India. An apparent no-ball to opener Rohit Sharma gave him an extended life, and gave the opponents an opportunity to dig their own graves. Disapproving of the no-ball, they blamed poor umpiring as the reason for their huge defeat, and the comments made against match officials drew flak. Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina seemed to join the bandwagon, reportedly saying that Bangladesh was 'made to lose because of wrong decisions by the umpire.'

Bangladesh media acts as the team’s support staff

The media in Bangladesh has been very harsh with their content on opponent teams. Below is an excerpt from a piece in Bangladesh Today, which was written after Australia refused to travel to the country for a series.

“It has become obvious that the present cricketing giants are envious about Bangladesh’s fast rise in international cricket and that they are not above resorting to cheap stunts and cliques to arrest our victorious journey in international cricket.”

In 2015, when India lost a three-match series 1-2 and gave Bangladesh their first-ever bilateral series victory, a Bangladeshi newspaper produced a photoshopped fake advertisement, which showed seven Indian cricketers standing with their heads half-shaven. Mustafizur Rahman, the star performer of the series, was shown endorsing a utility knife/cutter, which symbolised the bowler’s ‘offcutters’. Below that, the Indian players held a banner which read, ‘We have used it. You can use it too’.

When MS Dhoni was beheaded

Ahead of the Asia Cup final against India in 2016, a photoshopped image of MS Dhoni’s severed head clutched by bowler Taskin Ahmed went viral across social media. The image was disgusting, and it caused outraged among Indian fans as it was very disrespectful towards a player like MS Dhoni. Some Indian fans replied with similar images, but fittingly, it was Dhoni who hit the winning runs for India, in signature style with a six.

India’s loss more precious than their own win

Bangladesh wicket-keeper Mushfiqur Rahim openly celebrated India's exit from the ICC T20 World Cup 2016. India lost the semi-final to West Indies, after which Rahim tweeted "Happiness is this....!!!!!! #ha ha ha...!!!! India lost in the semifinal."

He posted another message, this time on Facebook, which read, “Happiness is this. Now I can sleep much better. Windies you beauty”

This was a rare instance when an international cricketer explicitly made fun of a losing team, but one of the many instances where Bangladesh went overboard with their emotions.

Bangladesh have made rapid strides in limited-overs cricket, but their players need to nip certain matters in the bud and play the game with the right conduct. At least the captain should keep his emotions in check and not take centre stage in a controversy. With this kind of attitude, not only will they lose out on fans, they will lose respect as well.

But above all, they need to treat themselves as a force to reckon with and not as minnows. Their over the top celebrations after dismissing a batsman or winning a game, irrespective of who the opponent is, only goes to show their lack of faith in themselves.


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