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Bangladesh fans have been given the best gift ever

Faisal Caesar
3.35K   //    10 Mar 2015, 00:56 IST
Bangladesh players celebrate their win against England, Group Match, Adelaide, ICC World Cup 2015 

In the third ball of 49th over, James Anderson’s stumps were disturbed by a full almost yorker-length ball from Rubel Hossain, triggering a wild celebration near my house which is at Lalkuthi, Mipur. People came out of their houses to express their joy and the noise they created filled my ear –  the noise didn’t puzzle me, it only made me realize yet again what a piece of willow and leather ball can mean to sixteen crore passionate hearts.

In the subcontinent, cricket is not just a sport taught by the British to natives when they landed here. It’s not just a sport which is played on lazy Sundays on village greens where cucumber sandwiches are washed down with tea or ale.

In the subcontinent, cricket is a vibrant culture, an identity, a way of life; and in Bangladesh, cricket is oxygen.

Tragic story of Bangladesh cricket fans

The story of a Bangladesh cricket fan is always a tragic one. There is seldom a chance to smile big while the Tigers are in action. Nightmares have to be digested, stadiums have to be left behind with heavy hearts. There are two types of fans – ones who are left with tears in their eyes, and the others who leave cursing their team.

The love, however, never dries up in either kind, that is a rule.

Against the big teams, Bangladesh’s performances have never been consistent, for which England were dubbed by analysts as the favourites in the lead-up to the all important World Cup clash. But the passionate cricket fans of Bangladesh always believed that the English emperor can be conquered. At Adelaide, the enormous self-belief of Bangladesh cricket fans was proved right.

Heroes in Bangladesh cricket folklore

But passion alone can’t win a match. It has to be won by the more deserving team and at Adelaide, surely, Bangladesh were just that. They outclassed England in all departments: the middle-order batsmen exhibited ideal temperament and fought well despite having lost two early wickets, the fielders gave their hundred percent and the English batsmen surrendered against Bangladeshi pace bowling – not left-arm spin bowling.

If Mahmudullah’s hundred has entered Bangladesh cricket’s folklore, Mashrafe Mortaza’s nagging-and-incisive length, Taskin Ahmed’s youthful guile and of course, Rubel Hossain’s lively pace have to be given a place in history as well.   

For the last twelve months or so, the story of Bangladesh cricket has been shoddy. Adversity has always motivated Bangladesh and at Adelaide, a motivated Bangladesh team gave its fans the best gift ever. It was an unforgettable moment for each and every Bangladeshi.

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Faisal Caesar
A cricket fan from Bangladesh....
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