On Show: Shakib al Hassan the Bangla Tiger | Sunday Observer

On Show: Shakib al Hassan the Bangla Tiger

He is a cricketing Tiger that Bangladesh cricket is lucky to have. And he is on show, without much fanfare unlike the Indian cricketers who pose as idols to worship. And we are only less than half way through the World Cup and the buzz is already all about him.

But Shakib al Hassan, with his unassuming personality is a God-given gift to the game. He is easily the best all-round cricketer we have seen for a long time. Hassan has the rare abilities to fashion and win a game for his country. Often on his own terms!

A ta ntalizing left arm leg spinner and a dashing left hand bat with terrific stroke play all round the wicket he can be tagged with that West Indian batting great Brian Lara.

He is eye catching when in full cry. He has a good eye, lovely footwork and timing from out of this world. Like I have also said I would travel many a mile to watch this stylist in action.When he comes in to bat I stay glued to my TV confident of watching a batting treat. And this match winning knock was more than a treat. It was a sumptuous meal.

After the West Indian batting machine made an imposing 321 for 8 in 50 overs helped by Evin Lewis 70, Shai Hope 96, S. Hetmeyer 50 and Jason Holder 33, other than for their supporters no one would have given Bangladesh a chance of beating the Windies considering the pace bombs they carry. The Windies made this formidable score after losing the explosive Chris Gayle for no score..

When Bangladesh began their chase they were under tremendous pressure. But the TIGERS who have kept improving their game over the years took strike exuding confidence and believing that what the Windies did they could do better.

Their openers Tamim Iqbal and Soumaya Sarkar gave them a sound start with 52.. But when Mushfiqur Rahim a mainstay in their batting went for no score and at 133 for 3, the Tigers had their backs to the wall.

It was then that Hassan displayed his ferocious fangs tiger-like, joined by Liton Das to cart the fearsome Windies pacemen to all corners of the field and take their side to a memorable seven wicket victory that will go down in history as one of the best victories chasing a challenging score.

Hassan who made a magnificent unbeaten 124 from 99 balls and Das also unbeaten on 94 took them to victory without further loss and did not their supporters celebrate at Taunton as they taunted the Windies. Hassan notched up his second century in the Cup and if he continues in the same form could be the Player of the Tournament.

It is usual for a losing team to have its share of problems. When a team is winning everything is tickety boo. And it is no different with the Sri Lanka team and management playing in 2019 World Cup in England and Wales.

Firstly the complaint was that the Sri Lanka team had to play on green top wickets, followed by poor hotel facilities and a coach (bus) that lacked space unlike the coaches given to other teams.

Now the Sri Lankans are in a bit of hot water for not having sent two of their players who had been requested by the media for the post match media conference at the end of the game against Australia which they lost.

Now as for the writer, some of these media conferences are a farce. During my long journalistic career covering cricket and media conferences, I make bold to state that these after match before and after press conferences have nothing productive to add. They are a ritual forced upon the teams that make the organizers feel good.

I say this because the questions often posed are repeats and at times earn the ire of the player or official attending these conferences. This is because some of the juniors are not adequately experienced and the questions asked border on the ridiculous.

If one has played the game one could see how the wicket is playing, how the ball is behaving like which way it is swinging, or is it favoring spin etc. After a match at press conferences the questions asked are similar to the ones mentioned.

Like Bipin Dani mentioned in the Daily Mirror on Monday the questions asked are- why the middle order failed/why the team lost etc? Now this is there for every journalist to see during play and need not be questioned.

Obviously, the player or manager loses their temper when silly questions like this are being posed by some juniors. Some juniors who have not played the game or who could be best tagged as ‘book cricketers’ ask questions for the sake of having to ask questions with no gist in the questions and some look a laughing stock.

Manager and selector on tour and chairman of Sri Lanka cricket selectors Ashantha de Mel hit the nail on the head when he said that the players are not in the mood to answer these stereo type questions.

As for the writer, the juniors should not be allowed the right to ask whom that want for questioning, but leave it to the team management to send the most suitable person.

A little anecdote. During the 2007World Cup in the Caribbean, the Indians were faring badly and ultimately went out in the preliminary round. There was an Indian journalist who kept taunting skipper Rahul Dravid querying that he was always saying that India would win, but they keep losing.

Piqued by this silly question Dravid replied: are you asking me to say that India will lose every game. That answer shut the gab of that loud mouthed journalist.

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