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The day Bangladesh beat India in Trinidad at the Oval

WHEN  PURPOSE AND PASSION COMBINE THERE IS SUCCESS –The Day Bangladesh Beat India at the Oval in Port of Spain by Surujrattan Rambachanbangladesh

Ever so often you would have heard me say that the essence of success is purposefulness. I have also said that it is purpose that drives passion and not the other way around. The defeat of India by Bangladesh is a glaring example of a team, in this case  Bangladesh, having a purpose, a purpose that ignited their passion to want to win against India. As a result for those of us who saw the match, it was one where India was outplayed by a team far younger, but much more energetic and  full of courage. Bangladesh is one of the poorest countries in the world.  In fact 45%  of Bangladeshi’s live below the poverty line.

The population of Bangladesh is 148,000,000 . The infant mortality rate is 61 pr 1000 live births. Despite  Bangladesh having a growth rate of its economy by 65 in 2006, it remains a poor country.  With that background, one can therefore begin to wonder what motivates the performance and attitude of the Bangladeshis. Over the last few years they have  defeated Australia, New Zealand and now India in one day cricket.  I am of the view that The Bangladesh Cricket Team wants to bring glory and pride to the people of Bangladesh every time they go out on the field of play.

Purpose and passion aside, the Bangladeshis had prepared and had a plan. They arrived in the Caribbean much earlier than the other teams and went about acclimatizing themselves.They had undoubtedly studied the Indian Cricket Team and were able to bowl in a way that confused the Indian batsmen. To me it was obvious that the Indian team did not know about the batsmen on the Bangladesh team. They may have even taken them for granted. As a result when young T I Khan began his onslaught, Tendulkar himself had to step in to help his Captain rearrange the field. Tendulkar was seen giving advice to the fast bowlers as to how to bowl to T I Khan. The Bangladesh Cricketers got five wickets in the space of two runs. What did they do right?

Firstly, they never let up on the pressure. Mentally, they excelled above the Indian team. Secondly, they stuck to their game plan, which was to bowl not defensively but attackingly, fully aware of the weaknesses of the Indian batsmen including Tendulkar. Thirdly, their bowlers were disciplined and bowled to accommodate and reflect the field that was set. Fourthly the bowlers were thinking even as they ran up to bowl, and on several occasions adjusted the delivery to accommodate what they perceived to be the shots being planned by the Indian batsmen. Finally, they were a team on the field. They were unselfish as demonstrated by the way they dived for the balls along the boundary lines.

The Bangladesh team has taught Managers major management lessons from their performance. What are these lessons:

  1. Teams win at cricket  matches and in organizations.
  2. Does your team have a purpose that is so compelling that it ignites the passion to win, to be successful? Is the purpose shared by all?
  3. Do you have a plan, and are your people aware of your plan? In addition, do your people know what roles they have to play as part of the team and to execute the plan?
  4. Do the members of your team behave selfishly or supportively?
  5. Do the members of your team have the capability to adjust the plan as conditions change? Are they thinkers? Are they aware of what the competition is doing?

These are but a few of the management lessons taught by the “winnows” from Bangladesh. By the way, you must have heard the Captain of the Bangladesh team saying to the Press that they are not winnows. Well they proved it because they did not believe it.  They see themselves as equals. Because of this they positively affected their self belief and self confidence. You could have seen it and feel the culture of the team, compared to a listless group of strollers on the field in the form of the Indian team, at least for today!

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