Bangladesh women beat Ireland by 7 runs and Bangladesh men beat UAE by 7 runs in a rare coincidence, but it meant two very different reactions. The women’s team took the WC Qualifiers trophy three times in a row with yesterday’s victory, though Ireland fought hard.
Bangladesh men also played a practice match against a lowly rated UAE and had a close win, but it was embarrassing to watch. One team is going up while the other is in decline.
Bangladesh and Ireland Women, the two finalists, had already reached the World Cup stage, so the stake was low. However, it showed some interesting features.
The BD Women’s team is strong, but it still lacks the killer blow delivery capacity that a team needs to win on the global stage. Bangladesh did win the Asia Cup, beating India, but India has gone ahead and beat England last week. The West Indies men's team is not particularly strong, but their women's team—previous cup winners—is. So Bangladesh had better watch out about the possibility of bad days on the big stage.
Both India and Pakistan have also improved, and India’s 3-0 win against England last week is a reminder that while we did beat them, it’s not the same team anymore. And SA and others have better records than us.
One reason why the women’s team is not pushing up as much as it could be is a lack of sponsorship and investment. Globally, women’s cricket has yet to catch on, so ICC dole money is low for the qualifying countries. The media has only recently begun to get interested, and so promoting it as a money-making sport is important. This is already happening, but not enough. But betting sites are already active, which means more crowds and that will hopefully translate into funds for Women cricket.
Performance wise, Bangladesh women still remain inconsistent. Its batting is below par and the fall of 8 wickets in 5 overs, including 3 in the last, means much more improvement is needed. While others are hitting sixes, BDW rarely do. Its strength remains in bowling, but a difference of only 7 runs in the final means it could have gone the other way.
What was least impressive was the fielding. The girls didn't look fit and seemed sluggish in running and releasing the ball back. It was obvious Ireland took advantage of that to accumulate. But they won, and that is great.
And the Men ?
The least said about the men, the better. They were perfect clowns on the field and could neither bat nor bowl. Their fielding was spectacular as everyone, from commentators to spectators, ran out of words to describe them. If they have to sweat so much to beat an associate status team I think everyone should accept that it’s also at that level and not the test status.
So we will suffer more as we watch the men get bashed by everyone in the next WC. We will keep our fingers crossed and hope to get some relief from the women's team's WC performance in South Africa next February.