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Victories to Bangladesh and the West Indies mean this is a time to celebrate, not mourn

Gene Efron Roar Rookie

13 Have your say

    The events which transpired on the stage of world cricket in the past 48 hours carry much greater significance than they would had the results been reversed.

    Victories to the West Indies over England on foreign soil, followed by Bangladesh’s historic first every Test victory over Australia at home, have been touted as calamitous for the losers by many.

    Yet, had the spoils fallen on what was predictable, question marks surrounding gaps in quality between Test-cricketing nations would have only persevered, and praise for the victors would have been shunned until they play a ‘real’ side.

    But for these cricketing nations, their triumphs stand to symbolise what may have faded in the absence of victory.

    For the visitors to the mother-land of Test cricket, the unlikely success is representative of Hope for the future – pun intended.

    Their series was scheduled on the backend of a three-match series against ‘worthy’ opponents, South Africa – the main event. To justify their presence in the series, they were handed the inaugural day-night Test match for both teams, clearly set up for England’s benefit to prepare them for the day-night Ashes Test in Adelaide in December.

    If the Windies were not already red-faced after their first match belting, they were labelled as the “worst ever Test side” ex-English batsman Geoffrey Boycott had seen, who went on to find himself in hot water by making a racist remark, saying he would have to “black my face” to have a better chance of knighthood – something he later apologised for.

    Whether these circumstances provided any motivation towards an unlikely Test victory is insignificant. The West Indies were admittedly trounced in the first Test, beaten by an innings and 209 runs, making their victory by five wickets on Tuesday all the more remarkable.

    They were given a glimmer of hope in their first dig, with opener Kraigg Brathwaite combining with number five Shai Hope for 281 runs between them, only to back that up with a further 213 runs in the second innings.

    There is always symmetry to be found in Test cricket, making it beautiful by definition. Here is no exception.

    The last time the West Indies won a Test series was against Bangladesh in 2014. The last time Bangladesh won a Test series was the series which succeeded it in 2014-15.

    Now the eighth and ninth-ranked Test cricketing nations, respectively, have an opportunity to claim their first Test series win in three years against those who are ranked third and fourth.

    West Indies captain Jason Holder bowls

    (AAP Image/Dave Hunt)

    Both undoubtedly see these series as nothing more than an opportunity to gather momentum leading into the Ashes later this year.

    But, while the Windies have needed to stretch for respect in the recent past through individual efforts, the Bangladesh Tigers have collectively demanded recognition of their cricketing abilities since reaching the quarter-finals in the 2015 World Cup and drawing four Test series against top cricketing nations since.

    However, they were still yet to achieve the feat of beating Australia, anywhere.

    Amid North Korea teetering on the brink of global disaster, Tropical Storm Harvey displacing thousands of Houstonians, and over 18,000 refugees fleeing from Myanmar into Bangladesh itself, the Tigers’ classy victory has unequivocally brought joy to many more individuals threatened by international tragedies than had the probable occurred.

    In a global context, the West Indies victory can give symbolic hope to civilians who have none, and Bangladesh’s win might point to momentum swings towards those who have demanded liberty.

    From a cricketing perspective, these victories will re-ignite a withering West Indian flame, and will only amplify the sound of that Tiger roar for all cricketing nations to hear.

    If anything, these defeats may only serve England and Australia well as they each continue to find the right balance to their sides for the clash of greatest consequences in just three months’ time.

    If they were to each lose their current respective series’, the Ashes tale will only grow.

    The Socceroos' hopes of qualifying from the group stage at the World Cup are hanging by a thread after a 1-1 draw against Denmark. See how the match unfolded with our Australia vs Denmark match report, highlights and result.

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    The Crowd Says (13)

    • September 1st 2017 @ 5:33am
      twodogs said | September 1st 2017 @ 5:33am | ! Report

      Well then we must therefore say test cricket is alive and healthy and it seems the ‘minnows’ are giving it a Kickstart. The ICC take notice and give them some extra cash aid for further developement. These guys have just beaten two of the big four! Two better matches you’ll never see.

      • September 1st 2017 @ 5:26pm
        DavSA said | September 1st 2017 @ 5:26pm | ! Report

        Good post twodogs . Surely the ICC should now be looking at financial as well as logistical and structural support to The West Indies and Bangladesh in particular . Provide support but hold those in control responsible with conditions attached. It is in all the top tier nations interests to do so.

        • September 1st 2017 @ 6:49pm
          twodogs said | September 1st 2017 @ 6:49pm | ! Report

          Thanks Dav, I’m so pleased the Windies won I’m beside myself. Although I among many love to see an Aussie victory, or England for example, it’s also important we lose. It provides balance. I liken it to a forest full of wolves but no or little other species with nothing to feed on but themselves.
          By the way, it is Dav in SA or DavSA in Oz? Makes no difference but I thought I’d ask. ☺

          • September 2nd 2017 @ 7:31pm
            DavSA said | September 2nd 2017 @ 7:31pm | ! Report

            In South Africa twodogs

            • September 2nd 2017 @ 9:05pm
              DavSA said | September 2nd 2017 @ 9:05pm | ! Report

              I have been an ardent fan and admirer of Australian cricket almost for a lifetime . It started when my schoolmaster compelled every pupil to watch a movie on Don Bradman on old 16mm film projector. When the Australian rebel side came out I took 4 days of leave ( the matches were 4 not 5 dayers ) to watch . Australia is or should I say was the ultimate prize . Beat them and you had done something special. Post sporting isolation I have made an effort to attend their games and have been privileged to witness the likes of Hayden , McGrath , Gillespie , Gilchrest , Steve and Mark Waugh , Bevan Ponting and of course Warne live on the park . This is why at the moment it is disappointing to see the regression . Most baffling as due to the worlds best domestic set up , the popularity of the game an the entrenched culture in your society it should not be so. …….Many reasons are put forward as to the dip of Test crickets popularity but I feel strongly that the fall from grace of dominance that was Australian cricket is a huge factor.

            • September 3rd 2017 @ 7:51am
              twodogs said | September 3rd 2017 @ 7:51am | ! Report

              Haven’t been there but I’ve heard about it?

    • September 1st 2017 @ 11:10am
      AGordon said | September 1st 2017 @ 11:10am | ! Report

      The pitches for these two Tests could not have been more different.

      The Windies won on a pitch that last the full 5 days yet still had a little in it on day 5. Both sides scored well over 400 so guys could play their shots. In other words, a genuine cricket wicket, as Benaud would say.

      Contrast that with the pitch in Bangladesh. Didn’t last close to 4 days and was clearly set up for the side who batted first.

      No argument these victories are great for Test cricket, but lets see what happens in Bangladesh nest Test if Smith wins the toss. I reckon the Banglas will be flat out making 250 in both digs. If they win the toss, we’re probably screwed!

      • September 1st 2017 @ 4:36pm
        George said | September 1st 2017 @ 4:36pm | ! Report

        Sour grapes.

    • September 1st 2017 @ 11:56am
      The Fatman said | September 1st 2017 @ 11:56am | ! Report

      I blame it solely on Cricket Australia. They are the ones who chose to try and hoodwink the players out of their existing pay arrangements.

      And you want to talk about actual cricket ?? Look no further than the erstwhile “high performance manager” who has spent the whole of the past three months as chief negotiator for CA. His role centred purely around screwing his own players out of their hard-fought contractual achievements. How were the players expected to be suddenly inspired by his words of cricketing wisdom.

      “sorry about the last three months, boys, but now I love you again”

      • September 1st 2017 @ 1:57pm
        AGordon said | September 1st 2017 @ 1:57pm | ! Report

        I agree with your comments about CA, TF but for slightly different reasons. I completely agree Howard should not have become involved in the Agreement saga but why wasn’t he doing his real job?

        CA’s planning for tours verges on the ludicrous. A review of the India tour should have easily identified technique/temperament issues to be managed if we were going to be successful in Bangladesh. The whole cricketing world knew about this tour 6 months ago, so why didn’t Howard start to plan and practice straight after the India tour? CAs answer – no practice games of any kind till a week before the tour then ONE 3 day game that was washed out. No wonder we lost.

        Compare that to Tendulkar knowing he had to play Warne in India, months ahead. He arranged to practice on pitches similar to Tests against bowlers similar to Warne. Result, he got a gazillion runs and we got creamed.

        Peever and his bbuddies wanted to run cricket as a business. How is this lack of planning part of any sort of sound business model?

        I wonder whether CA has deliberately set the players up to fail? Someone needs to review their less than stellar performance and get rid of the dead wood and yep, Howard would be at the top of the list to get the sack.

    • September 1st 2017 @ 5:27pm
      DavSA said | September 1st 2017 @ 5:27pm | ! Report

      Geoffrey Boycott is a disgrace . His lack of sensitivity I believe reflects that of many others of his ilk . Could this be why the ICC pays only lip service to the minnow nations.

    • Columnist

      September 1st 2017 @ 9:50pm
      Ronan O'Connell said | September 1st 2017 @ 9:50pm | ! Report

      Good piece Gene, it was a brilliant week for Test cricket.

    • September 1st 2017 @ 10:15pm
      Geoff from Bruce Stadium said | September 1st 2017 @ 10:15pm | ! Report

      Just finished watching a replay of the highlights of the second test at Headingley on Fox and have to say the West Indies batting was super impressive. This fellow Shai Hope looks like a future super star – terrific technique and some great attacking shots as well – reminds me a little of Gordon Greenidge with his driving, cutting and pull shots. Even reminded me a bit of Dougie Walters and Ian Chappell with the way he drove and pulled the spinners. He received great support from Braithwaite and Blackwood. Would be wonderful for world cricket if the Windies became more competitive.
      And hats off to Bangladesh who used their local conditions brilliantly. I think some of the Aussies deserve a bit of credit as well – particularly Warner and Cummins. Its just great to be able to watch tight contests that go down to the wire.

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