Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Former England captain Geoffrey Boycott believes that Bangladesh shouldn’t go overboard with their celebrations after having taken an unassailable 2-0 lead in the ongoing ODI series against India.
Even though Bangladesh will register their first ever bilateral ODI series win over India, Boycott feels that they will only establish their reputation as a cricketing powerhouse if they beat top-tier nations like Australia and South Africa in their own backyard.
“They’re not quite minnows anymore, they’ve had one or two good performances but I think we are getting carried away a little bit,” Boycott told ESPNcricinfo’s Bowl at Boycs. “Beating India occasionally, and Pakistan or Sri Lanka, doesn’t send waves through the cricket world.
“Sorry, I don’t want to put a damper on your excitement for Bangladesh but nearly all Bangladesh’s good performances are at home. That doesn’t make the world of cricket sit up until you go to Australia or South Africa or New Zealand, and beat them in their countries…that will be a huge step and we will all take notice.”
Boycott also admitted that he was impressed when Bangladesh beat England by 15 runs to qualify for the World Cup quarter-finals. In addition to that, Bangladesh have also won 10 ODIs in a row on home soil.
“I accept that one of their very best performances was beating England in Adelaide in the World Cup,” Boycott said. “I was there, Bangladesh were superb, I enjoyed their cricket and it’s the best I’ve seen from them. But Bangladesh can’t live on just an occasional or odd one-day performance win. They need to go abroad and start winning Test matches against the big boys. As I said, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, England have all got much better Test sides in them in their countries. You’ve got to go and do that a bit.”
Boycott added that Bangladesh should take advantage of the funding they receive from the International Cricket Council (ICC) as not many other lower-ranked sides get as much as they do.
Furthermore, the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) have drastically increased their revenue as of late as they sold their worldwide media rights to Gazi TV for US $20.02 million for a period of six years. In addition to that, Top of Mind, a media planning company, paid just over $385,000 for the team sponsorship rights.
“Cricket lovers want Bangladesh to succeed, no doubt about that, but you’ve got to accept that lots and lots of ICC money has been poured into Bangladesh cricket for many years now,” Boycott said. “And quite honestly, we, the cricketing nations of the world, need to see more from them. Bangladesh have a huge cricket-mad population and I realise it takes time to be able to match the big countries. It’s always happened like that – it took time for West Indies, New Zealand, Pakistan after partition, even India were not able to match England or Australia on equal terms in the early days. Now they are.
“But none of these countries received a financial help or clout that Bangladesh have had over the years. They’ve had loads of money. These countries had to make a lot on their own, there wasn’t money around, there wasn’t television revenue for ICC, or whoever run world cricket, to pour in to India, Pakistan, New Zealand, West Indies when they were in their infancy.
“And Sri Lanka, let me tell you. I’ve forgotten them but I shouldn’t because they’ve been wonderful…they’ve won a World Cup. I want them (Bangladesh) to enjoy their success but I don’t think you need to get carried away, you need to keep it in perspective because more is required. An occasional one-day is lovely but we need more.”