As a crazy cricket nation, our hearts and eyes are undoubtedly gripped by TV screens or radio or any channel that streams when our country is competing. Bangladesh has improved a lot in the shorter formats especially ODI cricket in the last decade.
However, our performance in the Test arena is gradually deteriorating, with consistent failures following some stellar performances at home against Australia and England. After the inclusion of the ICC World Test Championship (WTC) in 2019, the tigers are perpetually failing and still haven't found their way to ensure the first Test victory against any of the sides they faced in the championship.
Bangladesh was handed five consecutive Test defeats after the tournament commenced. Previously, the defeat against Afghanistan (not included in WTC) and then whitewash in the West Indies series (included in WTC) have massively reflected the catastrophic cricket structure Bangladesh is dealing with.
This article focuses on finding the reasons for which we are lagging behind.
Poor domestic infrastructure
When we see countries like Australia, England, and India conquering the world in every format of the game, it gives an idea of how these country's domestic structure is influencing their performance on the national stage.
The Sheffield Shield and County Championship are the biggest domestic first-class tournament of England and Australia.
The Ranji Trophy is the biggest domestic first-class tournament in India. These first-class tournaments offer a significant amount of matches for a player to play in a calendar year. Plenty of quality matches and heavily competitive tournaments ensure that the selectors pick the best talents from the country to prepare themselves before appearing on the biggest stage.
Bangladesh was handed five consecutive Test defeats after the tournament commenced. Previously, the defeat against Afghanistan (not included in WTC) and then whitewash in the West Indies series (included in WTC) have massively reflected the catastrophic cricket structure Bangladesh is dealing with
In our country, BCB is failing to host a great and appropriate number of competitive tournaments in longer versions.
The National Cricket League is not being hosted every year and there are not plenty of matches. As a result, regional players and players who are trying hard and looking to perform to the best of their potential in the bigger stage after performing well in the first division, second division cricket are not getting the right platform to hone their merit.
BCB is the fourth richest cricket board in the world and the revenue of the board was booming because of the sponsors, media earnings, and other sources.
Still, the percentage of salaries for cricketers from the revenue is not satisfactory. It shares a minuscule amount from the revenue for this cause.
The match fees of domestic tournaments are not satisfactory. Players who play in first-class tournaments don't get the appropriate amount of match fees they deserve. The scenario is worse in the second division and third division cricket.
Consequently, a huge number of local players give up the sport and find themselves searching for other professions in order to secure better earnings. If the players don't get significant match fees and plenty of matches to perform, even if they might perform well for a short period of time, the incentive of getting much more accomplishments from the sport may decrease in the long run.
The accommodation facilities player receive in the domestic tournaments are also very dismaying. In a compact schedule, it becomes excruciatingly painful for the players if they don't get enough rest and good accommodation facilities. Sometimes they need to make their journey by local bus and travel for 5-8 hours before a match.
Often, the hotels they live in are shabby, congested, and lack good washrooms. Visionary investments and increasing budgets for these facilities can benefit players in many ways including protecting them from injury or fatigue.
Faulty team selection
Players who are performing in the domestic circuit consecutively for a long time are mostly being neglected by the selectors in Tests.
We haven't seen a single player in his thirties with extensive experience on the domestic circuit make his national team debut for the longer version.
Marshall Ayub, Tushar Imran, and other veteran campaigners who were performing tremendously in our domestic cricket for years are not getting the call from the selectors.
As frustrating it sounds, definitely, the players who are performing great in the first-class should be sharing dressing rooms with the national team players and they should also get the facilities to prepare themselves before the big stage.
Whether they are young prospects or playing for a long time, they deserve to get opportunities through their performance. Surely, it's difficult to perform on the International stage, but if we cannot ensure the trust and confidence in them and we deprive them of deserving opportunities, we might never inject the flame in them to shine.
Overdependence on Spin
Bangladesh is a land of left-arm spinners.
Besides, we have an ample amount of right arm off-spinners as well. But hosting domestic cricket mostly in spin-friendly wickets is detrimental for the pacers and the spinners as well.
Our batsmen are also failing to score against a good pace bowling attack in overseas conditions. Our pacers are not getting green fresh pitches where they can generate good pace and swing the ball both ways.
As a result, they are struggling hard both in the home and overseas conditions for not having the proper knowledge on how to bowl differently according to the conditions.
Thus, we are lacking world-class pace bowlers who can deliver and take wickets under any condition.
Indian cricket gave efforts and invested heavily to produce world-class seamers in the last decade and now they are getting the results in the form of Bumrah, Shami, and Ishant Sharma.
Having a good branch of seam bowlers has resulted in their back-to-back Test series win in Australia.
It is high time that our management and board put more focus on investing their efforts to build a good pace attack.
Bench strength and shadow 'A' team tours
The success rate of teams like India, England, and Australia is very high because they have massive bench strength.
When the bench strength is as much as the playing eleven, it encourages the players more and creates a healthy competition getting into the team.
Tournaments like Ranji Trophy, Sheffield Shield, and County Championship have benefitted the structure and culture of cricket for their own countries. They produced world-class players who can perform as alternatives for the National team squad.
We also observed teams playing fantastically great when they have a strong pipeline. We are lacking good bench strength and thus our team is becoming incapable of showing resilience and good comebacks.
If BCB sends the high-performance unit or players who are performing exceptionally well in the domestic arena in Bangladesh 'A' team in tours, it will give confidence and strength on playing in unfamiliar conditions.