Word of caution for Men in Blue: Be cautious with your words
Sport has followed the political relationships between the two countries. (Source: Reuters)
Phew. After jangling the nerves of Indian fans, who have already bought tickets to the quarterfinal in Melbourne, and booked hotel rooms, whose prices are rocketing every hour, Bangladesh lost to New Zealand, thus ensuring that they will face India in Melbourne. India might have beaten them in the last World Cup in Dhaka, but the 2007 memories also would have surfaced in some fans.
Tamim Iqbal rushing out imperiously and tonking Zaheer Khan for a six remains one of the seminal shots in Bangladesh’s cricket history.
It was Bangladesh who ensured India bowed out of that tournament early. More importantly, it was comments from Bangladesh players about perceived arrogance from Indian players that still keeps floating around.
Mashrafe Mortaza had spoken about how he and his team were motivated by Anil Kumble’s comment prior to their game in 2007. The story goes something like this: Kumble bumps into Mortaza and has a friendly gripe about how India don’t have enough time between the 2007 World Cup and the tour to Bangladesh (which was to follow immediately). Mortaza saw it as embedded arrogance.
“It certainly fired me. It was as if Bangladesh were seen just as a punching bag for big boys to move forward. I was determined to prove him wrong. Kumble’s statement almost implied that they expected India to reach the final. He didn’t say it to spite us but I was struck by the arrogance embedded in the statement. Here the tournament was still to begin and Indians were already expecting a berth in the final.”
Bangladesh went on to crush India by seven wickets in that game.
Sport has followed the political relationships between the two countries.
For years now, Bangladesh have viewed India as a slightly arrogant big brother.
Who can forget Virender Sehwag’s famous statement in 2010, three years after the World Cup debacle, that “Bangladesh are an ordinary side. They can’t beat India because they can’t take 20 wickets.”
I was there at that press conference then, and was a witness to severe backlash from fans and journalists from Bangladesh. They obviously took it as a personal insult and it opened up old wounds about perceived mockery and arrogance. Jamie Siddons, Bangladesh’s coach then, had a press interaction where he was asked about Sehwag’s comments and he didn’t hold himself back.
“His comments might bite him on his bum in a few years’ time. It might even hit him in the bum in a week’s time. We are definitely not an ordinary side.”
Considering India defeated them at their home in the 2011 World Cup, Bangladesh will be itching to create an upset. They have had an interesting tournament so far and are peaking at the right time. A fine win against England has been followed with this admirable job against New Zealand, one of the tournament favourites.
The quarter-final will be really interesting to watch. It should be a passionate affair. Hopefully, there won’t be any silly comments from any Indian player before the game!
Source:: Indian Express