Lack of infrastructure & facilities to blame | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, July 13, 2008 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, July 13, 2008

Lack of infrastructure & facilities to blame

JAMIE SIDDONS... standing up for his charges

Bangladesh cricket coach Jamie Siddons said that it's not the players but the lack of infrastructure and facilities should be blamed for Tigers' poor showing in the international level.
The Australian was not ready to make straightway comments on the recent outburst of Gazi Ashraf Hossain, the former national skipper-turned-board's cricket operations committee chairman, while talking to this reporter at his Gulshan residence yesterday.
Rather he underlined his points to differ with the comments of the BCB high up.
"I don't need to comment on what he (Gazi Ashraf Hossain) said in the paper. It's not a question of capability rather what I say is that they are not ready," said Siddons when asked about Ashraf's painful observation that the country is unfortunate to live with so many incapable players competing in international cricket.
"Absolutely lack of infrastructure, there is no one else (behind the poor performance). The players are not to be blamed at all... players are what we provide… they need to produce. Right now we teach the players in international cricket but the fact is that we need to give them infrastructure first to teach them this before," he observed.
"You need the facilities, you need the proper competition and facilities must ensure in the whole country.… You have to give modern gymnasium and many other things at least at all national grounds. You have to have level three qualified coaches at every level. Proper ovals for the players and I can go on and on," Siddons added.
The 43-year-old also requested everybody to focus on from where the players are coming rather than concentrating only on the national team.
"Our domestic competition is where the problem lies. This is not stronger and no money being spent in infrastructure. No practice facilities for anyone outside the national team. We need to look at the real problems. It's not the national team rather we have to focus on from where they are coming from. They are not ready to play international cricket and that's why not succeeding yet.… This is very simple," he said.
"Everyone is talking about the national team but I think we need to focus on the development activities. Just an example, the facilities for premier cricket competition here is the worst I have ever seen."
He also gave an example in support of his remark.
"If a student, who has not has done his course, performs an open-heart surgery then there is every chance that the patient will die. Without proper medical training one can't do an open-heart surgery. Like that you have to make the players ready first to play and compete in this level," he explained.
The Tigers coach was diplomatic when asked to say something on Ashraf's comments (I am sure most of our present cricketers will be disqualified if you arrange a trail of international standard).
"I am not in a position to comment on his observation. But definitely there is no better player in the game that we could pick in the team. So, let someone find out a Ricky Ponting or a player of his touch. This team is what Bangladesh is right at the moment. Nobody is saying on the paper or anywhere to developing the skill to face the pressure of international cricket," he responded.
"I think, I always said that we got the best 20 players for the team and we have to give them time to develop. I think they are getting better and better everyday," he said.
Siddons also had a different opinion regarding Ashraf's comments on the current national players' average.
"I think if you look at the stats not too many players are in between average of 15 to 20. Rokibul's (Hasan) average is above 25 or it is something 30 and so is Ashraful and Tamim's. Few guys are averaging more particularly in the last six months. So it's not quite a great stat saying that all the players are averaging between 15 to 20," he said.
The Bangladesh coach was also happy with the way the boys are progressing under his guidance.
"Yes, they had one slip up in Pakistan and that was in the last game and against a good team and that can happen. But we played good cricket in Pakistan because the players amassed the second highest score in the history of Bangladesh cricket... highest score ever against India, so it's a very good stat," he defended his boys' performance in the Asia Cup.
"Absolutely happy, absolutely no doubt because the players are starting to perform. But I am concerned about one thing that the batsmen are not scoring consistently. They definitely get better but they are showing improvement over the last three months... young guys making centuries," he added.
Siddons was also happy with the approach his charges have towards international cricket.
"I found nothing wrong in their approach. Our players are dedicated to playing but one can't buy skill by paying money. Ricky Ponting is Ricky Ponting because of his skill level and the Australian skill level. Everybody should understand it takes time to improve the skill level," he said.
But he warned that nothing could be possible if the country didn't improve the facilities and infrastructure.
"We might always be where we are now."

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