Aaqib Javed is quite impressed at the improvement Bangladesh has made in cricket. Pakistan’s former pacer, who was also part of the World Cup winning squad, said despite limited resources, Bangladesh has overtaken Pakistan in cricket development.
While speaking to Prothom Alo, he said, “It's good to see how over the past 15 years Bangladesh has produced players like Mashrafe Bin Mortaza, Shakib Al Hasan, Tamim Iqbal, Mushfiqur Rahim and Mahmudullah.”
This pacer-turned-coach said, “Mashrafe has a lot of contribution to Bangladesh’s cricket. He is an excellent leader. He is intelligent and can inspire the team. He has taken Bangladesh’s cricket ahead over the past decade or so. He has inspired and motivated the young players. Getting a player like Mashrafe over the past two decades is an example of Bangladesh’s cricket development.”
BCB’s planning has been excellent in taking Bangladesh’s cricket ahead, I feel. Bangladesh’s cricket academy has created some amazing players. I think with its limited resources, Bangladesh has even overtaken Pakistan in cricket development.
Aaqib sees a lot of difference in the Bangladesh he saw as a player and the Bangladesh he sees now. “When I would play, the games against Bangladesh were always one-sided. Bangladesh was less experienced then. But over the past 15 years, Bangladesh has become a different team. It has produced some amazing players. They have proven themselves at the top level of world cricket.”
While he feels that Mashrafe has a great contribution to Bangladesh’s cricket, Shakib Al Hasan is his favourite player. He said, “Mashrafe, Shakib, Tamim, Mushfique are all amazing, but personally my favourite player is Shakib Al Hasan.”
Aaqib has made a ranking of his own, of Bangladesh’s best cricketers. But, he repeats, this is his personal view. “Bangladesh team’s main players are taken to be Mashrafe, Shakib, Tamim, Mushfique and Mahmudullah. But,” he adds, “I would rank three out of these five on top – Mashrafe, Shakib and Tamim.”
Bangladesh’s planned advancement in cricket has impressed Aaqib Javed. He feels that Bangladesh has done better than Pakistan in certain areas. “BCB’s planning has been excellent in taking Bangladesh’s cricket ahead, I feel. Bangladesh’s cricket academy has created some amazing players. I think with its limited resources, Bangladesh has even overtaken Pakistan in cricket development.”
He sees Bangladesh’s batting depth as more than that of Pakistan. “Alongside Shakib, Tamim, Mushfique and Mahmudullah,” he said, “batsmen like Liton and Soumya have increased Bangladesh’s batting depth. I think Bangladesh has more batting options than Pakistan.”
Aaqib placed Bangladesh’s cricket franchise BPL on par with Pakistan’s PSL. BPL has forged ahead through all sorts of ups and downs. He feels it would not be correct to follow IPL in franchise cricket.
This former cricket star also felt that Bangladesh has failed to fully utilise its domestic cricket potential. “BPL and PSL are competitions of the same standard. I feel blindly emulating IPL in organising these tournaments must be stopped.”
India is a huge country and has much more funds. They use all sorts of elements of entertainment for IPL which is not possible in Bangladesh’s context. I think the main target of BPL or such tournaments should be to hunt for talent. That’s where my interest lies in these tournaments. But Bangladesh has not fully utilised the potential of its domestic tournaments.”