Cricket needs a controversy-free tournament. Trust is badly missing in cricket at present and the Champions Trophy's biggest challenge will be to reinstall the lost trust among cricket lovers across the world.
The Champions Trophy is being contested by the top eight teams of world cricket. It does not feature Bangladesh, Zimbabwe or exciting associate members such as Ireland or Afghanistan. According to critics, the minnows of world cricket offer a dull affair in such events and the Champions Trophy previously has not experienced something chummy with the minnow's participation.
But in the course of time the minnow's standard of playing in limited-overs cricket have improved steadily. They have offered a fight and even have been able to leave some big names shell-shocked by essaying stupendous wins. These minnows get very few opportunities to play cricket against the top sides and in that sense they deserve such big events more and more to exhibit their talents.
From a Bangladeshi perspective it's a sad affair. Since 2011, in the limited-overs format, Bangladesh's improvement has been special. Against West Indies and Sri Lanka they were sizzling while in the Asia Cup last year they showed their tigerish attitude to command respect. Bangladesh, apart from Test cricket, has been an ever improving side. In limited-overs cricket they are utilising every opportunity and of course they are producing some exciting talents. Tamim Iqbal, Nasir Hossain, Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim and Co are limited-overs cricket's real fighters who have the ability to make any top teams sweat.
To climb higher in the ICC ranking a team needs to play enough cricket. How much cricket does Bangladesh play in a year? It's pretty scanty in comparison to other big teams. How can a lower-ranked team improve if they don't play against the big guns on a regular basis? In the next six to seven years Bangladesh are suppose to play only 65 ODIs while teams like India, Australia and South Africa are suppose to play at least 200 50-over matches during the same duration.
Can you expect a team to improve with such limited opportunities?
Bangladesh's current form in the limited-overs format makes them an automatic choice to participate in the Champions Trophy. Their temperament and quality of cricket has improved immensely over the years and by no means would they have offered any rotten fare. In fact, this big stage will miss some of cricket's flashy and adventurous characters who are well-equipped to challenge the very best in the world.
What is a tournament if there are no stories about giant-killers? It becomes less sensational.
First Published: June 10, 2013, 1:54 PM IST