Saturday, April 02, 2011

Bangladesh probe into “Tiger” in world cup debacle


Photo: Bangladesh's captain Shakib Al Hasan bowls during their fifth one-day international cricket match in Dhaka
SALEEM SAMAD
The government will look into causes behind humiliating defeats to take necessary measures to overcome the weaknesses

MILLIONS OF “Tiger” fans are excited that official investigation has been launched into the Bangladesh cricket team's failures at the World Cup cricket on Friday.

The Bangladeshi team dubbed as “Tiger” came in for strong criticism after they were bundled out for just 58 runs by the West Indies. Later, South Africa bowled them out for just 78. It meant they narrowly missed out on a spot in the quarter-finals.

“A probe team will be formed to find the cause of our players’ failure,” Bangladesh state minister for sports, Ahad Ali Sarkar told scribes.

"We are trying to find the causes behind these humiliating defeats. We shall take necessary measures to overcome these weaknesses," Sarkar said.

"We will certainly investigate into the reasons behind the debacle. We also want to see the Bangladesh Cricket Board to be more transparent and accountable," Sarkar said.

However, a Bangladeshi Cricket Board official does not agree with the sport minister’s decision for a probe. Manzur Ahmed, chief executive officer of the Bangladesh Cricket Board argued that “success and failures are part of any sport.”

The “Tigers” defeat by West Indies sparked angry reactions among fans who stoned a bus carrying the West Indies team presuming to be Bangladesh cricket team. Security had been beefed up to ensure adequate safety of the visiting cricket teams shuttling from hotels to stadium.

The team managed to beat England but was trounced by the West Indies and also lost to South Africa and India in their first round matches.

Bangladesh is one of the co-hosts of the 2011 Cricket World Cup and hosted eight matches. The other hosts, India and Sri Lanka incidentally will play final in Mumbai, India on (tomorrow) Sunday.

The resource starved nation of 158 million had to divert other development budgets for setting priority on security for 14 participating World Cup Cricket teams arriving capital Dhaka.

Bangladesh prime minister Sheikh Hasina on March 2 told parliament that her government allocated USD 65.6 million (USD 1=BDT 72.60) for the mega Cricket World Cup event.

The financial resource starved nation had to divert USD 7 million shortfalls from other development budgets for priority on full-proof security for the Cricket World Cup, an official of the Sports Ministry said. [ENDS]

Saleem Samad, an Ashoka Fellow is an award winning investigative journalist based in Bangladesh. He specializes in Jihad, forced migration, good governance and politics. He has recently returned from exile after living in Canada for six years. He could be reached at saleemsamad@hotmail.com