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Monday, July 1, 2019

India Vs Bangladesh ~ what happens when one criticises !!

ODI World Cup 2019 first round is about to end as teams make their run to home bend .. .. India would play Bangladesh at Birmingham.  India’s unbeaten streak at the World Cup 2019 came to end when England defeated them by 31 runs on Sunday. India are just a win away from making their place in the semi-finals and will look to do so when they face Bangladesh at Edgbaston tomorrow.

Bangladesh are currently placed sixth in the table and three points behind fourth-placed England, meaning a defeat against India would end their chances of making the semifinals.  India and Bangladesh have faced each other 35 times in ODIs so far, where India have won 29 matches while Bangladesh have 5 wins. However, Bangladesh had defeated India in the 2007 World Cup to knock them out of the tournament. Hence, they will be wary of their eastern neighbours on Tuesday.

This tournament, they have done well – they have beaten South Africa, they've brushed aside West Indies,  closed  Afghan and they've looked impressive even in defeat. They are yet to play Asian rivals – India and Pakistan.  Social media is ripe with calculations that Kedar  Jadhav will lose his place in the playing XI.  India needed 71 off 5.1 overs when Kedar Jadhav walked in to join MS Dhoni in the middle against England on Sunday. It was a steep ask but not impossible on a flat pitch and small boundaries. Inexplicably, Jadhav and Dhoni played out 7 dots and ran 20 singles in the 31 balls they faced together. MS Dhoni hit the only six of the Indian innings in the final over when it was game over for India.

It is curtains not only for Jadhav but for vijay Shankar too.  In less than two weeks, India have lost a second first XI player. This time, a fractured big toe in the left foot has ruled Vijay Shankar out of the remainder of India's campaign at the World Cup. Mayank Agarwal is set to fly out as his replacement and will join the squad later this week.  Vijay's left toe was hit by a yorker from Jasprit Bumrah during a training session in the lead up to the match against Afghanistan. Vijay did go on to play that match and the next one, but sat out of the contest against England on Sunday, which India lost by 31 runs, their first defeat in seven outings in the tournament.

Rishabh Pant replaced Vijay in the XI against England. This morning the BCCI sent out a statement saying Vijay would need three weeks to recover.  It was stated that the condition of his toe worsened and a CT scan showed he sustained a non-displaced fracture of the left big toe. The condition will require a minimum of three weeks to heal. The injury rules him out of the ongoing World Cup," the statement said.  MSK Prasad, India's chairman of selectors, had said Vijay was an ideal choice because he was a three-dimensional cricketer: a good batsman, ideal for the No. 4 slot, a handy part-time seamer in helpful conditions, and a very good fielder.

Sanjay Bangar, India's assistant coach, confirmed that Rishab  Pant would be persisted with at that position over the rest of the tournament because he is a left-hander, and provides a good balance to the middle order.  Mayank Agarwal's selection, meanwhile, might come as a surprise to many. Firstly because he was not even part of the five-man list of standbys announced when the World Cup 15 was announced. Along with Pant, the only other batsman who was part of that was Ambati Rayudu. Agarwal has never played for India in limited-overs cricket. However, the selectors were impressed by Agarwal's batting during the IPL, where he played in the middle-order for Kings XI Punjab and often managed to create an impact immediately. He was the third-highest run-getter for Kings XI, and scored his 332 runs at a strike rate of 141.88.  Agarwal has scored heavily in Ranji too. He would also be a  back-up opener after KL Rahul - who moved to the top after Dhawan went out. 

If one had to pick the best four Bangladesh cricketers of the generation thus far, Tamim Iqbal, Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim and Mashrafe Mortaza, without a shadow of doubt, would make that list for they have been the flag-bearers of Bangladesh cricket across the globe. 12 years ago, in  2007 World Cup, India were expected to have a stroll against Bangladesh in their opening game in Trinidad, but  Virender Sehwag, Robin Uthappa, Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid - four of India's top five – were out to  a stunning spell of bowling from Mashrafe Mortaza and posted a below-par total of 191 on the board. Mortaza ended up with 4-38 off his 9.3 overs which also included 2 maidens.    The victory over India  triggered unforgettable celebrations in Bangladesh and despite a ban on public gatherings; the  country soaked in joy and is still regarded as one of their best moments in international cricket.

Now read this news in Daily Mail ~ a leading Bangladesh pediatric doctor has been transferred to a remote clinic after criticising the country's cricket captain. Rezaul Karim, a child cancer specialist, was posted to the southeastern district of Rangamati weeks after blasting skipper Mashrafe Mortaza on Facebook. Mr Mortaza, a member of parliament for the ruling party, visited a state-run hospital in his rural constituency and became infuriated when several doctors were absent.  A video of Mr Mortaza criticising one senior doctor by telephone went viral, starting a social media row.

Karim said he was one of six doctors served notice by the country's health ministry after writing a Facebook post criticizing Mashrafe for 'taking pleasure in bowling Bangladeshi doctors'. Two months later he was ordered to remote Rangamati, where a low-intensity tribal insurgency has simmered for decades.  'I have been transferred to Rangamati Medical College which doesn't have any cancer treatment facilities. This seems to me an unnatural process,' he said. But Mohsin Uddin, a deputy secretary of the country's health ministry who signed the transfer order, said it was 'only an administrative decision', and rejected any suggestion it was a punishment.    Karim's sudden transfer from a cancer facility in Chittagong — where he was treating over 100 young patients — has also grabbed local media headlines. Bengali daily Manabjamin said the transfer was a consequence of Karim's 'disrespectful' Facebook remark against Mashrafe, who enjoys enormous popularity in cricket-mad Bangladesh.

Mashrafe hails from the southwestern Narail district, where his charity Narail Express — also the fast bowler's nickname — has donated ambulances to hospitals and rice seed to farmers. Turning to politics after retirement is not unusual for South Asian cricketers, but Mashrafe is still playing. He captains Bangladesh in the one-day format of the game, and intends to lead the team even after the World Cup.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar
1st July 2019.

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