Sports, Cricket

Australia dominante, Bangladesh struggle

Published : 10 May 2024 09:51 PM

Australia currently reign supreme in the ICC Women’s T20 rankings, with India occupying the third position. Bangladesh, unfortunately, find themselves at number nine. 

Naturally, hosting the two top-ranked teams presented a significant challenge, making series victory improbable for Bangladesh.

The Bangladesh team's recent performances have been underwhelming, largely due to their on-field displays. Nigar Sultana's side have struggled to put up a minimal fight, suggesting a collective lack of mental preparation for these high-profile encounters.

The top order faltered consistently throughout the series, while the middle order lacked consistency. The bowling attack, in recent matches, has also failed to meet expectations.

Following the drubbing by Australia, the Tigresses were whitewashed by India. However, it's important to note that Bangladesh had secured at least one victory in each of their previous four series against Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan, and South Africa.

Habibul Bashar Sumon, Chief of the Bangladesh Cricket Board's (BCB) Women's Wing, is understandably perplexed by the team's recent dip in form. He acknowledges that the pressure of heightened expectations could be a contributing factor.

Previously, women's cricket in Bangladesh wasn't followed with the same level of intensity. As a result, the players weren't burdened by such significant expectations. However, with increased television coverage, sponsorships, and growing public interest, women's cricket is undoubtedly entering a new era. This is a positive development, signifying the sport's well-deserved rise in popularity.

However, Sumon emphasizes that navigating the pressures of international cricket is a necessary hurdle to overcome.

"The World Cup looms large, and the pressure will only intensify," he stated. "We must learn to perform under such expectations."

Sumon assures that the management is taking proactive steps to address this. "We're implementing specific strategies to support the women cricketers mentally," he explained. "This includes sessions with a psychiatrist. The management is committed to ensuring they can play without undue pressure."

Bangladesh women's team is currently undergoing a transition phase. Several experienced players are no longer part of the setup, and the new recruits are yet to fully acclimatize to the demands of facing top-tier opposition.

The current form might be a reflection of this. However, Sumon remains optimistic. "If we grant this team six months to a year, they will demonstrably improve," he asserted.

Having assumed the women's cricket leadership role last February, Sumon believes that strengthening the batting line-up, improving fitness levels, and bolstering the player pipeline are the team's primary areas of focus.

"I'm particularly looking forward to the upcoming Dhaka Premier League," he concluded. "It presents an opportunity to identify fresh talent. Building a stronger player pool is imperative."