The first year of this decade was eventful for Bangladesh cricket, partly for a glorious achievement but vastly for the
off the field issues and perpetual defeat that marred the game’s progress significantly.
The women’s cricket generally draws less attention but they created the history by qualifying to the Women’s World Cup for the first time year. But men’s cricket which always hogs the limelight failed miserably, making the year a
The men’s cricket had successes specially in ODI cricket and also they found them winning the series against Australia and New Zealand for the first time in T20 format but there were some defeats in all format, which put a
shed on those successes.
In fact each story of defeat turned into an epic failure at the end of the year. And the situation further got worsened due to the spat and ego issues amongst the senior players.
There was miscommunication between BCB top brash and players and sometimes the relationship seemed to have stained.
While the year passed like a nightmare of despair, those off the field issues have exacerbated the pain and agony. Bangladesh cricket perhaps would not like to remember the year of 2021. The BSS sports department is bringing
back various memories of the eventful year.
A quick stat
Bangladesh played seven Test matches in this year, winning just one against Zimbabwe. They lost five matches and drew one.
The Tigers played 12 ODIs this year and the success rate was excellent as usually in this format. They won eight matches, the highest amongst the Test nations in an another Covid-19-affected year when most of the teams played less number of matches.
Bangladesh played 27 T20 matches, the most number of matches they played in a calendar year. They lost 16 and won 11, eight of those came against Australia and New Zealand at home soil ahead of the T20 World Cup.
Shakib’s comeback series and Mayers storm The 2021 started with the return of Shakib Al Hasan in the International cricket after serving an ICC-imposed ban. He showed that the absence from the cricket couldn’t rust his ability.
He indeed returned with bang and was adjudged man of the series as Bangladesh whitewashed West Indies in three-match ODI series. Shakib scored 113 runs and took six wickets. But morning doesn’t show the day always.
Bangladesh was expected to win the two-match Test series against a severely depleted West Indies also but a little known Kyle Mayers hogged the limelight in an impeccable show.
He became the first cricketer in the history to hit a double century on debut in the fourth innings of a Test as West Indies pulled off a miracle to win the first Test by three wickets, chasing 395 runs. That created such a mental breakdown that Bangladesh also lost the second Test.
Bangladesh vs IPL
Before the end of the West Indies series, Shakib Al Hasan made headlines again as he showed his desire to play IPL, skipping Sri Lanka Tests.
His logic was to prepare him for T20 World Cup by playing IPL even though
Bangladesh had already hit lowest ebb by being whitewashed in Test series against a literally third ranked West Indies side.
So his statement however was not received augur well. The BCB president said, “I will not force anyone to play. At this time of difficulties he should support the team and help them get back to winning way but he is going to play another franchise tournament.”
Bangladesh’s New Zealand nightmare
In search of their first victory in New Zealand in any format of the cricket, Bangladesh went to New Zealand in March to play three ODIs and three T20s but as usually they returned with empty-handed.
The only outcome of the
tour was the performance of fast bowler Taskin Ahmed. His raw pace, impeccable line and length and enthusiasm gave Bangladesh a fast bowler they have been missing for many years.
Finally a point in WTC Bangladesh played two Tests in Dambulla in Sri Lanka due to quarantine and bio-bubble complications. The first one is drawn but they lost the second one.
In the first Test, Tamim missed his century by 10 runs but Najmul Hossain Shanto struck a glorious 163 and captain Mominul hit his first Test century outside of Bangladesh. The Tigers could have saved the second match too but they lacked skill and penetration.
Bangladesh got six points after drawing the first Test in Dambulla and that was the only achievement of Bangladesh in the first World Test Championship (WTC).
If they failed to draw the Test, they would have finished the first edition of WTC without any
An ODI win against Sri Lanka Bangladesh took revenge of the Test loss, beating Sri Lanka in three- match ODI series at home. The three matches were the part of ICC ODI Super League.
Bangladesh won that series by 2-1, thanks to a terrific batting performance of Mushfiqur Rahim. However Shakib was out-of-sort and jaded in this series. He took just three wickets and scored 19 runs in three matches. Mushfiqur’s great achievement
Mushfiqur Rahim became the first Bangladeshi cricketer to receive the ICC Player of the Month Award. He was voted the best by former cricketers, commentators and senior sports journalists and fans for his outstanding
performance in May, 2021.
Mushfiqur was named in the list for 236 ODI runs at an average of 69 against Sri Lanka. He scored 125 runs in the second ODI and played a unique role in winning the series against the country for the first time.
His opponents were Hasan Ali of Pakistan and Praveen Jayawickrama of Sri Lanka.
A drama-filled Zimbabwe tour
The exact problem of Bangladesh began from this tour. One of the senior players of the Bangladesh team Mahmudullah Riyad was asked to rethink about his Test future after his prolonged below par performance in the longer version format.
He was in fact was dropped from the Pakistan Test series but was included in one-off Test against Zimbabwe since Mushfiqur Rahim and Tamim Iqbal failed to make their way due to their respective injury.
Mahmudullah scored 150 runs in this Test that helped Bangladesh win the game but the drama unfolded when the teammates gave him guard of honour on the final day.
It was learnt hours after scoring his Test best knock he told his teammates in the dressing room that he would retire from the Test format.
But Riyad didn’t disclose it officially as the BCB, specially the BCB president Nazmul Hassan Papon showed his anger after sudden retirement. It is learnt Riyad found it insulting when he was dropped from the Test team in Pakistantour.
However amid the tension, Bangladesh played the three-match ODI series and Tamim Iqbal returned to the side to lead the team. Bangladesh whitewashed Zimbabwe in ODI series.
Tamim then took rest from the three-match T20 series while Mushfiqur Rahim had to return to country as his parents tested Covid-19 positive. Thanks to the brilliant performance of youngster Shamim Patwari, Afif Hossain, Bangladesh won the series by 2-1.
But the scar that was created following the retirement issue of Mahmudullah, ensured Bangladesh cricket’s problem would take a huge nosedive in the coming days.
Maiden T20 series victory against Aus and NZ
131, 121, 127, 104 and 122. These are the scores of the teams in the first innings of Bangladesh-Australia series. The consecutive replies came as follows: 108, 123, 117, 105 and 62. The cricket world has never seen such a low score in T20.
Remember the number 62 separately. Australia were all out for that score in the last match. In all, 1082 runs have been scored in the series which is the lowest in the bilateral series of the Test playing nations.
In such a five-match series, Bangladesh won 4-1. Mahmudullah’s team simply blew away the opponent by making uneven, low, slow wickets at home. Shakib Al Hasan is the best in the incredible series.
Then came in New Zealand and the pitch was same. New Zealand was all outfor 60 in the first match and Bangladesh earned the distinction of bowlingthe both Trans Tasman neighbours out for their lowest total in T20 in less than a month. In that low scoring affair, Bangladesh won the series by 3-2.
But their first ever victory against those two nations in this format was severely questioned. Critics argued this result would backfire in T20 World Cup since the pitch will be entirely different.
And the critics proved preciously right. While beaten and bruised by Bangladesh, Australia and New Zealand finally made it to the T20 World Cup final, Bangladesh cricket plunged to new low in that global event.
England tour postponed England was scheduled to play three ODIs and a T20 series in Bangladesh in September-October. But the tour was postponed by the England and Wales (ECB) Cricket Board.
However, the series is not being canceled. The English will come to Bangladesh in the first week of March 2023. The two teams will play three ODIs and as manyT20s.
Six limited matches will be played in two weeks in Dhaka and Chattogram. The series was postponed mainly because the English players were keen to play IPL.
‘So called’ Tamim vs Mahmudullah spat
Just ahead of announcing the team for the T20 World Cup, Tamim withdrew his name, citing the reason that those who played regularly in this format, should be considered ahead of him. In a video message he said he talked to
BCB president Nazmul Hassan Papon before skipping the global event.
But later it was discovered he had issues with T20 captain Mahmudullah Riyad, which led him to pull out. Tamim was irregular in this format and didn’t play any match since March 2019.
So when Tamim’s name was proposed during the discussion of the team for the World Cup, Mahmudullah is believed to argue that the players who played regularly in this format should be considered.
When Tamim came to know about team meeting and Mahmudullah’s stance he didn’t hesitate to opt out the tournament. Later it was said the two senior players had issues between them but both of them denied it and said they had good rapport, contrary to what the others think.
Tragic T20 World Cup
Repeatedly, winning the matches, specially against Australia and NewZealand, playing on a slow wicket at home is building fake confidence. At that time none of the concerned people raised their heads. And the result:Bangladesh is Super Flop in the World Cup.
The Bangladesh team led by Mahmudullah went to the World Cup where Mahmudullah, Shakib and Mushfiqur had all the experience of playing in the T20 World Cup.
But they stumbled in the first match of the qualifying round, being beaten and bruised by Scotland who were bold enough to announce that they would beat Bangladesh this year .
After winning the match against the hosts Oman and Papua New Guinea, Bangladesh qualified to Super 12s. Earlier, in tournament proper, Bangladesh had won only one game against West Indies in 2007.
This time the record has not changed. They came agonizingly close to win the game against Sri Lanka but once they lost it, their fate was sealed. Their performance took a huge nosedive in the following matches and they lost all almost without any
Throughout the tournament, the batting and bowling of the team was hapless. The fielding was extremely poor as they shelled as many as 10 catches.
Bangladesh played 244 dot balls in the five matches for T20 World Cup Super 12s. On an average they played 49 dot balls in every match. The key to success for T20 match is to play less number of dot balls.
But when BCB president Nazmul Hassan Papon criticized the players for playing excessive dot balls, the cricketers found it tough pill to swallow.
Indeed Papon could not accept the loss to Scotland. He questioned player’s commitment. In particular, he questioned the slow batting approach of three seniors Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim and Mahmudullah Riyad.
The cricketers -specially the three senior cricketers smeared that criticism and were busy retaliating.
Shakib came to the press conference and gave a strong answer. Mushfiqur asked critics to look in the mirror, a statement that got trolled in social media vehemently. Mahmudullah said, “There must be criticism.
desirable. But healthy criticism is good for everyone”. Mahmudullah’s captaincy in the aftermath of the World Cup, Domingo’s coaching and the overall team planning, goals and mentality of the players, also raised questions.
The performance of this year’s World Cup has made it clear, ‘Pain everywhere, where to give medicine.’ Final nail in the coffin And the disappointing year ended fittingly in disappointing fashion. Pakistan came here for a first bilateral series after 2015-this time for two Test and three-match T20 series.
They comfortably whitewashed Bangladesh in both formats to make the Tigers year of 2021 a forgettable one. Domestic cricket
The domestic cricket was run as per the calendar after the Covid-19 ruined most part of 2020 a disappointing year . Dhaka Premier League (DPL), the most coveted List A tournament of Bangladesh was held after a gap of one year and Abahani Limited emerged as the champions.
The National Cricket League (NCL) which was postponed started a fresh and Dhaka became champions after eight seasons. As they defeated Khulna Division by 179 runs in the last round, they became champions in the country’s first class tournament for the sixth time.
The BCB also geared up for eighth edition of Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) after Covid-19 forced its postponement in the last year. Recently a player was held for the BPL.
And finally a news to savour
Amid all the disappointing talks and results, what was to savour was the news of Bangladesh Women’s cricket being qualified to the Women’s World Cup this year.
The Bangladesh team has progressed to the year 2022 Women’s World Cup in New Zealand for the first time after the nine-team qualifying tournament in Harare was called off.
The International Cricket Council announced the postponement of the tournament due to the introduction of travel restrictions from a number of African countries, including the host country Zimbabwe, following the breakout of a new COVID-19 variant in southern Africa.
Bangladesh beat Pakistan by three wickets and crushed the USA by 270 runs before experiencing a shocking 16-run defeat to Thailand by DLS method. Still Bangladesh topped the Group B.
Along with Bangladesh, Pakistan and the West Indies qualified for the ICC Women’s World Cup 2022 by virtue of their rankings. Player of the Year
Bangladesh’s performance was so disappointing that it was tough to pick one particularly for the player of the year award. There was some individual brilliance though with Mushfiqur playing some good innings in all three formats of cricket.
Najmul Hossain Shanto had a knock of 163 against Zimbabwe in a one-off Test. Young players like Shamim Patwari, Afif Hossain also showed promise. But it was fast bowler Taskin Ahmed’s year.
He started International cricket with a bang but lost his way, mainly due to recurring injury. But Taskin in this year came back strongly-he was fitter, he bowled long spell in Test cricket without compromising his pace and more importantly he was consistent.
He was the bowler that Bangladesh have been missing for so long. Even though there is someone like Mustafizur but if the pitch is not slow enough, this year Mustafizur looks like an ordinary bowler .
So Taskin is the bowler who showed the promise this year to be Bangladesh’s match winner at home and foreign soil simultaneously.
source: DHAKA, Dec 30, 2021 (BSS)