Bangladeshi cricketers might be getting too much coverage
Media attention has always been intense towards the Bangladesh National Cricket Team. To quench fans' endless thirst for behind-the-scenes content, the scrutiny only increased with the rise of social media. Now, journalists and media outlets alike posting visual updates on the most minute of training session details has become commonplace.
Recording snippets of training might look innocuous, but in an age where visual and analytical data analysis reign supreme in cricket, it does more harm than good.
Any team worth their weight are always on the lookout to identify weaknesses of their opponents. If social media gets inundated with training videos, it's basically an invitation for the analysts of opponents – they can easily get the inside scoop of what is going on tactically. Add to that footage from games, The Tigers' team and player tactics get brutally exposed for others to see, making their plans useless.
This is exactly what happened with erstwhile promising players like Mustafizur Rahman, Naim Sheikh, Soumya Sarkar and Shabbir Rahman, to just name a few. As a fan, it was alarming to see just how easily their training videos were available through mere Facebook posts – exposing the lack of variation and weakness in yorkers for Fizz. As for Naim Sheikh and Shabbir Rahman, their hesitance of footwork and one-dimensional batting approach was stark.
For cricketing powerhouses working with vast teams of data analysts, it was only a matter of time before their drawbacks were deciphered. As coaches and players went over training and in-game footage, their aura as 'mystery talents' went up in smoke, causing their form to nosedive as they couldn't evolve tactically for sporting and off-field issues.
As fans, we are well within our rights to want our players to win and make us proud, but they must be entitled to privacy during the vital training sessions. We don't need to know how many stumps an off-form batter broke during the nets, nor do we need to know if any board member was personally coaching the underperforming players.
Revealing these intimate details instead entices negative reactions and ridicule among the fans. For players going through difficult stretch of form, these trolls and the resulting memes might break their mental resolve, causing them to perform even poorer or worse still, drive them into depression. Fans need to be more compassionate towards the off-form players. After-all, players are humans too.
It can be argued that cricketers in other countries face similar scrutiny and still perform. But the truth of the matter is that in most test-playing nations, cricket does not receive as much public attention as it does in Bangladesh. And countries with similar or more intense fanfare have far better infrastructure and cricketing heritage, which gives the cricketers the tools to be able to rise above such hurdles.
That doesn't mean there should be no transparency regarding The Tigers goings-on. While maintaining this, it's also imperative crucial strategic details aren't leaked. To keep the PR machine active, BCB can schedule occasional training sessions for photo-ops, while tactically important training sessions are conducted behind closed doors.
If all this is ensured, we can finally say that our cricket is getting back on track, setting The Tigers en route towards a brighter cricketing future.
Inqiad is a long-suffering Man United fan and a self-proclaimed Targaryen. Contact him at [email protected]