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An open letter from a Bangladesh fan to Brendon McCullum

Faisal Caesar
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3.52K   //    17 Feb 2016, 22:05 IST
‘The story of your turnaround has been a source of inspiration for me’

Hello Baz,

My father was a patient of carcinoma of tongue. It was first diagnosed in 2011 and immediately, we took the necessary steps to arrest its further progression. My father was physically stable for the last four years, until the cancer unleashed it’s aggressive nature eight months back.

We took necessary steps to cure the cancer. He started to receive chemo and radiotherapy, but this time around, he lost the battle against cancer.

The cancer won, my father closed his eyes once and for all.

Date 6/02/2016. Time: 12:45 am.

All of a sudden, my father developed hematemesis (vomiting of blood). We took him to the hospital, but sadly, it was not possible to start the necessary emergency managements as my father had breathed his last breath by then. An emptiness devoured our world and we were left astonished. Death is a cruel reality for everyone, but at times, it is never easy to accept the death of the near and dear ones.

Being a doctor, I felt helpless.

I am a doctor by profession and currently, I am working in the department of cardiology at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University in Dhaka. I am doing a postgraduation in Internal Medicine. My MD part-1 examinations were going on when my father died. On 8/02/2016, I was supposed to appear for the viva examinations of Physiology and Biochemistry. As a son, it was never easy to think about exams let alone faring well.

As a son, my world was shattered.

Being the only son of my parents, I had to fulfill a lot of responsibilities. The morning of February 6, 2016, was a hectic one and I can’t explain anyone how did I manage all those purposes on my own. My mother and sister were devastated while my wife had to take care of the situation smartly.

I maintained my calm and composure and proceeded on with the religious and necessary tasks which are required to bury a dead body in Islam. A day later, I decided to attend my exams and I was able to complete my viva exams. I am still moving on with my life – taking care of my family, attending my hospital work and helping my family members in their respective works.

It needs immense courage and humungous  amount of willpower to stand on your feet in such a short time and for this, I must thank our beloved Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (SAW)’s unique patience and ability to conquer adversity and then, I am grateful to two most courageous cricketers of recent times who have defied all the odds to bounce back in style.

One of them is Mashrafe Bin Mortaza and the next one is you.

Baz, your appointment as the captain of New Zealand few years back triggered harsh criticisms. Ross Taylor was the most popular choice of the critics and fans and there were times, you lacked the support and encouragement to lead the team.

Your first real Test was against South Africa three years back. In one word, it was a disastrous one for you and the Kiwis. Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel and Vernon Philander were ferocious and made you and your team to hit the rock bottom. New Zealand cricket was at bay while your captaincy under the scrutiny.

Things got worse for you as the Kiwis’ performance was dismal during the England and Bangladesh tour. Critics didn’t spare you.

But you denied to give up. You decided to turn things around for New Zealand. The dawn of 2014 witnessed a galvanized New Zealand unit. They played their cricket aggressively and we called it as ‘fearless brand of cricket’. The man behind this dramatic change has been you.

You buried the prophets of doom and gloom permanently in the graveyard and instilled confidence in your men and led from the front to display the sort of cricket which has been a subject of joy for the fans all over the world.

Your men play their cricket aggressively, but they never dented the spirit of the game by sledging. They have been a fabulous ambassador of cricket. The way you paid tribute to Phillip Hughes by advising your bowlers not to bowl a bouncer and not celebrate the fall of a wicket, had been a fantastic advertisement of top-notch sportsmanship which will help the next generation of cricketers to understand the true meaning of sports.

You started practicing the culture of accepting one’s own mistakes rather than relying on the blame game. New Zealand suffered some umpiring blunders recently, but still, you did not start a war of words and sparked a widespread criticism, but decided to accept your team’s own flaws – such a practice is so rare in today’s world.  

Your magical captaincy has been quite beneficial for Test cricket. Your aggressive-and-fearless-brand-of-cricket has helped to increase the interest about Test matches among the young generation, who are disinterested about five-day matches.

They switch on the television and make their presence felt in the stadium whenever you and your team take the field in a Test match. You and your men have rejuvenated Test cricket.

While, in limited-overs cricket, you have shown the pragmatic minds of how to go for an all-out attack and set aggressive fields, even when the best batsman of the opposition is batting at the crease.

The story of your turnaround has been a source of inspiration for me. From a no-hoper, you have proved yourself to be reckoned among the best captains of your time. Whenever people talked about great cricketers from New Zealand, they never bothered to mention your name.

You were only treated as an entertainer and one of the worst captains. But, you overcame all these tough times with flying colors. You managed to impress the lady luck only because you decided not to give up, but continue to fight till the very end.

You have decided to retire from international cricket. Without a doubt international cricket, especially, Test cricket will be poorer without you. But, I would like to praise you for realizing the perfect time to leave the scene. You shunned achieving personal milestones and listened to your heart.

Baz, you have inspired a son, doctor, postgraduate student and a cricket fan during his toughest times.

Again, I thank you for this.

With regards,
A son, doctor and cricket fan

From Bangladesh  

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