A vital cog missing | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, April 23, 2010 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, April 23, 2010

A vital cog missing

Cricket, at the highest level, is no longer just about bat and ball. Starting from a computer analyst to a spin bowling coach, a cricket team's needs have changed considerably from the days when a player himself was considered the best coach. Now with the advent of professionalism at both the international and domestic level, it would be quite the task to tell a cricketer to coach the team as well.
Nowadays an international cricket team travels with enough management staffs that provide essential support to the cricketers, who already have to deal with the pressure of playing at the highest level.
But even with that much pressure around, the international cricketer has to deal with off-field issues that has the potential to make or break their careers.
And when you have a group of talented players taking part in an event like the T20 World Championship, you would not want them to think about performing out in the centre and not worry about facing the media.
It is a known fact that Bangladeshi cricketers have a tough time interacting with the foreign media, getting their views across and making sure that they understand what they are being asked.
Most of the players, admittedly from humble backgrounds, do not feel comfortable speaking in English and while this could be a trivial matter to some, it turns out to be a national embarrassment every time they face the camera. But hardly these cricketers are to blame. They spent half their lives playing the game and when they end up at the top level, they seek the help of professionals to guide them through a press conference or an interview after they have done well.
In these instances, the players feel comfortable in the company of a media manager who translates for them as well as make sure they get the best treatment in the newspapers.
The role of the media manager is to make sure the cricket team is presented to the world media in a proper light but more than that, he has to make sure the players do not get misinterpreted.
This is vital when these cricketers are playing in a big tournament or touring a country like England where there is a heavy presence of the media.
Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) is part of world cricket's growth and as one of the Test-playing nations, they have tried to follow the bigger nations every step of the way.
But they have the tendency to fall back on ancient times every now and then.
The board decision on Tuesday to drop the media manager from the T20 World Championship in the West Indies and the two-Test series in England is stunningly inexplicable and that too at the expense of an observer.
A foreign trip, for some board members, is considered an accomplishment especially when paid for by the cricket board.
But as it stands now, BCB has surrendered to their bad habit of giving pleasure trips to their members at the price of a professional who would help the functioning of the cricket team.
In this day and age, does the cricket board need this controversy? It reminds those days of the 1990s when there were rat races between the board members to win a convenient trip at better place.
The cricket board needs enough professionalism to run itself but when that goes missing in its administrative side, the board must provide the best for its million-dollar baby -- its cricket team.
It's hard enough tackling the fastest bowlers and the best batsmen. The cricketers must be given enough room to think about their game rather than worry about what they told the press and what would be written about them.
It is high time the board takes pride in their cricketers and staff and its the right time to show how much they have gone ahead, especially with a World Cup coming here in less than a year's time.

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