Category Archives: bangladeshis

The ministry of Bangladesh

Tonight I had a night off.  And I could have spent it in my room masturbating over preggo porn and watching Nasir Jamshed, but instead I went out to dinner.

But, I still made it about cricket.

My dinner was at the Ministry of Crab, the restaurant owned by King Kumar and Mahela Jayawardene.

They love their crab there.  Far more than is probably ok.

I mean, I love crab, but I assumed it would be crab and other things.  But it was mainly crab, a few prawns and boneless chicken.

Crab tastes great.  I really love crab, I won’t hear anything against crab.

But, crab is hard to get into, it’s a better idea in theory than on your plate.

I don’t really want to work for my food.

I just want to eat it as fast as I can.

I don’t want to wait more than a decade to be satisfied.

And this is Bangladesh.

I know that somewhere behind the shell, there is the sweet sweet meat, but how long do I have to wait to eat it.  And sure, I am not the person who is actually breaking the shell, but I still have to watch them.  I have to fall in love with Iqbal, Hasan, Crashraful and Mortaza as they turn from promising young players into middling middle aged players.

I put in that emotion, and I get little meat.  I get nothing.  I just get disappointed over and over again.

But, whether it’s ordering crab or watching Bangladesh, I’ll continue to get involved, because that’s what I do.

With crab, it will never pay off, with Bangladesh it might.

Result: Shakib did his thing.  Ian Bishop wore a suit that would have impressed a race of aliens who see through vibrations. Pakistan also played.

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Forget the ‘M’ word


• a small freshwater Eurasian fish of the carp family, which typically forms large shoals.
• a small or insignificant person or organization: the paper is a minnow in the national newspaper mass market

“We’re not minnows.”

Trent Johnston, 2012.

Odd terms in cricket seem to be the norm. The original meaning for Chinaman allegedly comes from when an English player couldn’t believe he’d been bowled by a West Indian player of Chinese heritage and said in a largely racist way: “Fancy being done by a bloody Chinaman.” If a player said anything like that today he’d hounded in the press and suspended by the ICC. But yet we still call left arm wrist spinners, like Brad Hogg, Chinaman.

It’s doubtful that in modern cricket we’d ever have another racially motivated term come through. New deliveries are usually named by the bowler, a quick thinking member of the press or Tony Greig. And shots are mostly named after the batsman who plays them, or just a simple way of describing the shot.

If you aren’t one of the eight main teams in cricket, the boys club as the outsiders call it, you’re referred to as a minnow. A small fish of insignificance. Hardly worth talking about, mostly patronised, not seen as professional or good enough for teams to tour. In the 1983 World Cup the minnow Zimbabweans defeated the mighty Australians. In 1999 Zimbabwe played magnificent cricket. In 2003 John Davison set the tournament alight for Canada, and Kenya made the semi finals. In 2007 Ireland defeated Pakistan, and in 2011 they beat England. Over the years Bangladesh have often claimed big scalps as well.

That’s not even to mention that the very host of this tournament was a minnow who only 13 years after gaining Test playing status won a World Cup. Sri Lanka are the ultimate heroes for countries like Ireland, Afghanistan, Zimbabwe and even Bangladesh. They went from non-Test playing to World Cup-winning in 13 years. When was the last time they were referred to as a minnow?

Minnow is a term I’ve always used. Associates and affiliates makes the teams sound like their insurance firms, and minnows is the term that everyone not associated with the non-Test playing world uses frequently.

Until a few days ago I never even realised that the smaller nations hated the word minnow. After a chat with the Afghanistan photographer and Ireland’s Trent Johnston, hate is the exact word some of the people from the associate nations feel about the word minnow. They feel it denigrates them as cricketers, patronises them, and doesn’t take their deeds seriously. Johnston probably has more right than most to hate it. He’s spent years being branded this way: “I’m sick of hearing minnow on the TV”. Perhaps the worst time for Ireland was the two months of constant minnow referencing when Ireland made the latter stages of the 2007 World Cup.

Afghanistan’s cricket team is their No. 1 ranked sporting team. According to Johnston, the Irish Cricket team is the No. 2 ranked sporting team in Ireland. These are not minority players or freak shows. Afghanistan, Ireland, Bangladesh and Zimbabwe have probably spent more time preparing for this tournament than any of the major teams. This is their main chance of notoriety. They are full of professional players, coaches, analysts, fitness staff and administration. They came here to win. So far, with two of them heading home, and only must win games for Ireland and Bangladesh left, their chances are slim.

When they do win, they’re seen as comedy upsets or plucky amateurs who’ve downed the arrogant professionals. None of these teams win enough for their own liking. They all do what they can do to improve with average facilities and little finances. They’re aware they need to win more consistently to gain our ultimate respect.

But perhaps these sides have earned enough of our respect for us to stop using a word they believe, quite rightly, belittles them. We could stop using the term minnow in honour of all the time and effort professionals and amateurs have put into making their national sides stronger, especially those from nations that aren’t traditional cricket playing nations. These people have grown the game, often in places where it needs the most help, and I think the least we can do is just stop using a term they don’t like.

It’ll be hard for cricket fans and the media to stop saying it; it’s inbred so deep in cricket’s odd lexicon. But the good thing about cricket is that no one will settle for associates or affiliates as the name for long before someone comes up with something better. This time, perhaps it will be something a bit more respectful than calling anyone who doesn’t win regular Tests a small fish of insignificance. Cricket doesn’t really need the “M” word, but it does need sides like Ireland and Afghanistan.

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Bangladesh narrowly beat Prince Brendon

The IPL was not built by Brendon McCullum, that was the scheme of Lalit Modi.

But McCullum’s role in opening the tournament with a hundred was pretty important. There were no opening night jitters for him, the gold pads at the non-strikers end did not blind, he simply smashed the shit out of the ball remarkably well.

McCullum always bats like he’s angry with life, and especially the ball. He carves, slaps and beats it.

Today, he did that to Bangladesh.

If McCullum sniffs a weak attack, they’re often cactus. The better sides might let him get away, but they often stop him before it’s terminal. Ordinary sides seem to do nothing to stop him.

I liked Bangladesh under Jamie Siddons, they were accountable to a violent looking scary guy, and it seemed to at the very least stop them from days like this happening often.

This was the first game between the Test playing nations, and Bangladesh managed to make New Zealand look better than butter, even with James Franklin playing the anchor role. On today’s evidence, in a tri series between Bangladesh, Ireland and Afghanistan in any format of cricket, they’d be lucky to make the final.

We all have bad days ofcourse, I had to go back to my hotel room 4 times this morning because I kept forgetting things.

It’s just that on Bangladesh’s bad day it can often look like they never left their hotel.

Result: Crashraful second top scored for Bangladesh, no one was seriously injured and Bangladesh lasted longer in the tournament than Zimbabwe.

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don’t say the B word

There have been a few times in the last few years when a certain side has done something good.

Some of us have got excited in the past,  we talk them up saying  how this could be the win the makes them legitimate.

The thought of a new test playing nation who can actually play from a country addicted to cricket is enough for us to have nothing but hope.

But no matter how much we talk them up not long after that they go back to being shit and we all get  disappointed again.

So I’m proposing we do something different this time.

Let’s not even mention the team who won, or their win.

Just pretend nothing happened at all.

If they string three good performances in a row, then maybe we can mention their name again.

There is no need to put any extra pressure on them, their just young kids trying to make their way in this world.

Saying their name after impressive performances has never stopped them playing shit shortly after, so hopefully just ignoring their win will be enough for them to keep trying to get us to say their name, instead of getting excited when they do actually win.

It’s a top effort, but if they fall apart next series, it’s a waste of every ones time.


balls profile: Mohammad Ashraful

Started his test career with a hundred on debut.  What an idiot.  As if he was ever going to live up to that.  Still has the talent, but if Bangladeshi cricket ever had a Mickey Rourke figure it would be Ashraful.  His form has been so bad for so long that when he gets picked even the selectors apologise.  Is perhaps the worst leaver of a cricket ball in the history of cricket, although hitting it has not done him much good either.  Is currently working on a shot that looks like a leave but is actually a flick off the pads for 2.  His nickname is Crashraful, it is not an ironic nickname.

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To the Desh

For months I have been living in a endless spire of two particular countries playing each other over and over again with the result ever changing. Today I had to give up a ame of cricket because I can’t move my neck, so the last thing I wanted, was to watch another one sided bashing of young kids.

The team that was losing is very likeable, they have a breath taking opening batsmen, a hard working all rounder as captain and a bunch of kids who all have some talent but didn’t look ready.

Then there was the coach, that embittered bald angry violent scowling hard man who had given three years of his life and probably a easier job somewhere else because he wants to make this a tough side to beat. He becomes the face of the team because he can’t hide his emotions and tells it like it is in interviews.

When the other hangers on cheered his opener’s many runs from front and square on the balcony, the coach was usually nowhere to be seen or way in the background gently clapping while the others celebrated like they had won the Ashes, World Cup, World T20 Asia Cup in one go. He expects these guys to make big scores, and doesn’t get carried away.

On Thursday this team started their third series against England this year, it has been 247 days since they have one an international match, they’ve never beaten England and yet again their opposition treat them like a joke by resting their ket batsmen and bowler.

It should have just been a continuation of defeat.

But there were changes made, the captain was given a break so another all rounder could come in and captain his side while making about his 17th comeback from injury.

He didn’t captain like they couldn’t lose this game, he captained like they had a real chance.

Their batting was plucky and safe, their main man hadn’t fired but they had 236.

A team that has performed this bad in the recent past shouldn’t be able to defend 236, but they kept hanging in, taking wickets, playing as a team, they even had time to give a mate an over for fun.

They had an ally in the opposition. A grizzled batsman who seemed to be batting for his career and not quite thinking.  The opposition also lost a man to injury during the game and their big middle order weapon never fired.

That didn’t mean this team of underdogs had it easy, it still went to the wire.

With 8 balls to go they looked like their team performance was in vain, but they kept at it, and they even had a moment of premature-celebration when they took the 9th wicket assuming the injured batsman would not come in.

He did, and that must have put them young team off.  Two balls later the opposition only needed 6 runs off 4 balls, and it looked all over.

That was the moment when the big bad old boy of world cricket steals the game and leaves the fans with nothing but embarrassment at ever having hope.

Instead a slower ball was bowled, the only opposition batsman that really scored was caught behind and this nation finally beat their one bogey side.

It was just a one dayer in just another meaningless series, but when they won it was everything.

The players celebrated like they had never won before, the coach transformed from the most miserable man in cricket to its happiest, the support staff were so happy they were almost hurting each other with bear hugs.

This isn’t going to change this team.

The next game against England isn’t going to be magically easier, this young side isn’t about to take world cricket by storm, but when you haven’t won in 247 days, a win is a massive event.

Maybe this will give them confidence, maybe it will be a blip.

But when this side wins a match cricket fan’s smile, and that is a good thing.

Well done, boys.  And I think I speak for almost everyone who loves cricket when I say that.

My neck is still very fucken sore, but now it is sore from screaming like a dickhead when you took that wicket.

Now, how about one more win?

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Rahim’s fingers

There was a moment on the last day when Mushfiqur Rahim kept getting hit on the fingers.

It wasn’t some important moment in the game. Bangladesh had already batted like left handed children using right handed scissors for the first time. The players and reporters were already preparing for their days off. Cleaners were coming into place. Old Trafford’s accountants were working out how much they had lost. And the sky programmers were busy planning back ups.

All of this was put on hold as Ajmal Shahzad kept hitting Rahim’s little fingers.

Shahzad is playing his first test, he has a first class bowling average of 33, without injuries he is about the 8th choice bowler in England’s attack. Yet on this day he regular beat up the hands of Rahim.

Rahim who has the best footwork of any Bangladeshi by so far that if Uday Hussain’s nephew was to start coaching the team and cut Rahim’s feet off, Rahim would still have the best footwork.

It seemed that the only thing delaying England’s win was Rahim walking around in pain or calling for the physio.

England knocked Bangladesh down, held back the one kid who could fight and let their wimpier kids kick the living shit out of them for a couple of hours.

Bangladesh have good days in test cricket, this wasn’t one of them.

Their last 19 wickets went for 213 runs.

But it was Rahim’s fingers that took the biggest beating.

With the game over he could have backed away and slogged like others did after him.

Rahim just kept getting behind the ball, kept taking the ball on his gloves, kept trying not to show the pain and played out 42 balls before he was eventually caught at mid on chipping a ball.

It was Bangladesh. A mediocre innings of much pain that meant nothing and gave even less.

Bangladesh lost in an embarrassing way.

Siddons is closer to going.

Tamim continued the rise.

And Rahim has sore fingers.

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Previously at Old Trafford


Tamim is a world class batsmen, Shakib is very smart bowler and Bangladesh often play cricket like a bunch of kids who turned up at the park.


Seem to crawl up into a ball and cry when Tamim bats, but luckily Bangladesh helped them with the rest.  Swann’s five for and Bell’s hundred seemed like gifts.

Can Bangladeshi draw?

No. Poor little fellas. Watching them lose 9 for way fucken less than they should have was horrible.

Play of the day

You have to give Matt Prior credit, he played as slow and carefully as he could, and then did a Mike Gatting in the 90s. As he walked off he looked at the screen in disbelief at the level of stupidity he showed. I bet Craig K had a smile on his face.

Testicular moment of the day

Tamim wears his underwear on his outside.

Working class moment

Bangladesh win this award today. They’re like the scummy family from the shit part of town who is mostly full of complete losers that would steal your car and leave vomit in the back seat. Shakib and Tamin are the two who get good jobs and move to the nicer parts of town.

Question of the day

Why does Shahzad’s head look so weird on cricinfo?

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The time has come for Crashraful

Almost since the first time I saw Crashraful bat, I liked him.

Back then he was a cocky mentalist with a taste for the flashiest shots of pure madness.

He could make a cut shot as addictive as heroin.

Everyone who saw him on song couldn’t help but be amazed.

Now he is shit.

I could write more than shit, I could explain about how he leaves balls that are going to hit his stumps, plays shots that can only get him out, and walks out to the wicket like a man who was getting paid 1000 bucks to cut his favourite auntie’s head off.

But shit does it.

At Lord’s in the second innings Crashraful played some of the prettiest shots you could see, then he went out.

Usually you just go out.

I can’t think of a test cricketer that leaves the ball worse than Ashraful. It isn’t leaving the ball in the channel outside off; it is imitating Christopher Walken in Deer Hunter.

While he was once an attacking batsman like Bangladesh’s current superstar Tamim, now he is either an out of form slogger, or a befuddled middle order village batsman.

Not even a good one.

In the last 3 years Crash has played 17 tests for one score over 50. In none of the last three years has he averaged over 16.

There is a chance that this is all a phase. The equivalent of a middle class teenager with a pink Mohawk with pierced testicles.

The problem is that after 55 tests he averages 22.


Even though I have always liked him, I think my time is up.

I can’t watch him suffer like this any more.

So I’ve decided to take Crashraful to the vet, give him a long pat on the head, tell him everything will be ok, and leave before the Vet puts him to sleep.

Sure, I’ll feel guilty for a while, but I think it is for the best.

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Previously at Lord’s


Had a Tamim inspired day. It also clear they like even numbers when it comes to test days.


Finished the tail off well, but yet again lost their way when the ball wasn’t moving around. 4 bowlers?

Can Bangladeshi still draw?

Yes, well I hope so. Cause that would be cool. They could win too, and I could become a beauty queen.

Play of the day

The Lord’s announcers and Sky said that Robbie Earl was batting when that mullet and lack of facial hair was clearly Rubel. I understand the confusion though, those rubbish Deshi seamers all look the same to me too.

Testicular moment of the day

Tamim. That is all.

Working class moment

Junaid is not a good batsman, at the moment anyway. He still scores a lot from edges, seems unable to take the initiative off of bowlers, and generally gets in his own way. Yet in his last 5 innings against England he has fought and fought to make 106, 39,34, 58 and currently 66*. He has a strong moral fibre to his batting, but a batting average in test cricket of 28.

Question of the day

If Tamim’s innings wasn’t enough to get Jamie Siddon’s cheering on the balcony, what would be?

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