Monday, March 26, 2007

Ireland, Bangladesh devalue World Cup - British Guys


The BBC has always been a patronizing old white men's club. Yes, they do deliver (mostly) fair and balanced coverage of the Middle East, but when your main comparison is the CNN, that doesn't say much. These old white men have a few set ideas and are scathing when reality begs to differ.

One of the few constants the BBC cricket analysts had over the past decade is their scathing arrogant dismissal of Bangladesh.

When Bangladesh upset Australia in 2005 in Cardiff, the BBC wrote "... although they beat India at home in January this year to show they should not be regarded as total write-offs."

I now refer to what the "analysts" of the World Cup of cricket are saying about the current progression of Bangladesh and Ireland into the Super 8 round. India and Pakistan are out of the World Cup, while Ireland and Bangladesh has progressed.

Jonathan Agnew starts the ball rolling with "I can’t say that I really believe it is for the good of the sport that one of its finest and most passionate contests – India against Pakistan – has now been replaced by Ireland against Bangladesh."

He then goes on with "The Super 8’s will be the duller and more predicable as a result of the presence of Ireland and Bangladesh, rather than India and Pakistan."

While Indian and Pakistani fans may agree, cricket is not played on paper. Teams may be strong on paper, but results are obtained on the ground, and on that fateful day, both Ireland and Bangladesh outclassed Pakistan and India, respectively.

Moving on, we have Martin Gough.

"Had the tournament gone according to seeding, England’s opening Super 8 match would have been against Pakistan, against whom they have had some epic battles in the last 12 months.

Instead they will face Ireland, who they outclassed in Belfast last June."

Ireland outclassed? England made 301/7 while Ireland replied with 263/9 [scorecard]. I would hardly call it "outclassed". As usual, the English press has overhyped its own team - but then, what's new?

Yet This has led to criticism of the format.

"In no way do I want to show disrespect to Ireland and Bangladesh but ..."

[there's always a but]

"... their qualification has come on the back of a single result each.

If you were asked to rank the top eight teams in world cricket, these two would still not feature.

Let me say this again.

Yes, the World Cup does deserve the best 8 teams making it into the second round, but the World Cup is not about how you performed last year, the World Cup is how you performed at the World Cup. As for the criticism of the format by Rahul Dravid, when he said that previous world cups allowed you to start bad and still recover, the best reply was given by Habibul Bashar, the captain of the Bangladesh team.

"It is true that if you have two groups then you get more matches and have a better chance of recovering from a bad result but those who are criticising the current format should also remember that the so-called big teams actually wanted it so that they don't have to play 'inconsequential' matches against weaker teams. If you are a top side then you should have what it takes to qualify."



Fatima said...

I am so rooting for the Bangladeshi's!
The underdogs rock...
Now we need to do something about wiping the smug smiles off the Aussies (yeah, they played very well..but I'm a South African...give me a break! :P )

Farah said...

Maybe the BBC writers can reflect on how England has reached the second round for the first time since 1996. They haven't beaten any Test team to do so, whereas both Bangladesh and Ireland have won against a Test playing nation. Perhaps his "minnow" comments referred to England?

Zainub said...

Totally with you Mezbah, the so-called top side in World Cricket, namely India and Pakistan, are out of the World Cup today, precisely because of this sort of undermining of the minnows. And Bangladesh's not a minnow any longer - the BBC ought to know better.

I hope B'desh beat England in one of the Super Eight matches, and I hope they really spank them hard. And ditto for their match against Ireland.

In fact I hope the World Cup semifinals are full of underdogs and teams that weren't expected to be there - that ought to teach the mainstream media a few lessons.

I hope WI, NZ, Ireland and Bangladesh make it to the semis. All four are sides no many people rate too seriously at the moment, but I really hope they make it.

PS: Thanks for the comment on Sundries, yes I away for a good six months and yes I'm also back now, been actually back since February. I had been checking back on your blog too since I returned, left a comment some where too I think. Great to have our cyber-re-union then. :D Happy world cup watching.

isheeta said...

Jealousy raises its ugly head... and by it, I mean the brits. I hope BDesh wins. Well deserved.

mousehunter said...

Sadly not being able to follow the WC, I feel so out of it (not that I follow it during the rest of teh time...hehe), but I have to agree with you.

M&M said...

its the underdogs coming through this year

and india and pakistan both out...... i have to say i did not predict it... bangladesh has been kicking some butt, but lol i still cant get over Ireland!

Rezwan said...

Apt quote by Bashar.

Some Indians cant believe that "they were beaten by a team like Bangladesh". Thats precisely where the problem is. They forgot that they did not play Bangladesh since December 2004 and still they are stuck to mindset of Bangladesh in 2004.

Bangladesh coach Dav Whatmore said I don't mind if anybody call us (Bangladesh) minnows. Because that helps us win some more matches. Precisely.

Hope Ireland and Bangladesh kicks some butts in the super eight stage. They have nothing to lose against the other team's snobbery.

Hafsa said...

ODIs are all about how you play on a certain day and if a team does play as well as Bangladesh did or as bad as Pakistan did, they deserve the result. I think Bangladeshi cricket has a great future ahead of them with young cricketers like Tamim Iqbal and Saqib ul Hasan coming through. Add to that the fact that they have my favourite cricket coach, in Dav Whatmore. I think what hurts nations like England and Australia the most is the fact that sub-continental countries manage to produce the best talent and groom them despite the lack of proper facilities. It wasn't too long ago that Srilanka shocked everyone to win the '96 world cup most comprehensively.
So yeah, now that Pakistan is out, i'm rooting for the other two sub-continental teams, Srilanka and Bangladesh!

Anonymous said...

One ugly day spoils the beauty,we can call it bad luck. But, if still there are chances and still you can't do it, it is not the problem of the format...though,I really miss India vs Pakistan.At least , there should be a match between the losing teams..-)..A good way for ICC to get more money..

Sonia said...

yep they are very scathing - but is it particularly 'racist' because they're scathing of us as a team?

India and Pakistan are generally pretty scathing about our chances at cricket they're eating their words now.

Taiba said...

Mezba, interesting to note that most of the comments here are from girls, some of us do really know alot about cricket huh?
I hope Bangladesh does well, they deserve it.

'liya said...

Cricket has taken over the lives of some of my students...


mezba said...

Fatima: Underdogs rock indeed. I am telling you, B'desh has the potential and capability to beat England, WI and Ireland, not to mention NZ.

Ah yes, we can dream.

Farah:good one!

Zainub: So true. I really hope England loses to Ireland. And I hope Australia does not go to the final.

PS. I will link to you now...

Isheeta: B'desh deserved it indeed.

Mousehunter: would it be interesting to know that some of these teams are called "mickey Mouse" teams.. lol.. given ur nick.

M&M: I felt sad for Inzamam.

Rezwan: exactly. Even now many Indians still cannot believe they were beaten by Bangladesh. The Bd-India series after the world cup should be an interesting one.

Hafsa: I reall think Bangladesh should be a strong contender in 2011, hopefully, if politics remains out of cricket.

Anon: haha, maybe now they can start a parallel series!

Sonia: too bad Inzy's last world cup had to end in such a tragic fashion.

Taiba: girls... cricket .. no comment!

Liya: Be lenient on them!