As the dust settles on Bangladesh’s incredible win against the reigning world Test champions, it is essential to cast an objective view on the victory and what it means for Bangladesh and world cricket in general. Does the win have the potential to catapult cricket into the forefront of the nation’s imagination and can it infuse new energy into the country’s cricket set up?
The newfound momentum is much needed against the backdrop of some poor performances of the team, which was below par in the recently concluded T20 World Cup in Dubai.
First, the win is the product of immense hard work and vision. Bangladesh reached New Zealand braving Covid and was ready for the challenge despite missing two key players.
“We had worked patiently and diligently for this while not many had taken notice,” says Aminul Islam Bulbul former captain and currently with ICC as Development Manager for Asia. “What is more important is what this victory will do to our cricket going forward,” Aminul says with a sense of optimism.
"This win is a serious statement" - Habibul Bashar on Bangladesh's first-ever victory in New Zealand
The key from here on is the transition. This is the first ever win by an Asian team in New Zealand in a decade and it is natural the reaction will be euphoric. Having said that, they should remember it is just the start. These players are destined for more if the victory is properly used and taken advantage of.
“This win is a serious statement,” says Habibul Bashar, one of the best cricketers to come out of Bangladesh. “We should take it as a beginning rather than the end. It is the first step towards making it big at the Test level,” he argues.
What the win demonstrates is how much Bangladesh has invested in their cricket structure. Not too long ago did they win the U-19 World Cup. The BCB academy at Mirpur is a fine example of this commitment and it is no surprise that the academy is now the cradle of Bangladesh cricket.
For world cricket, nothing could be better. The one country which can compete with India in terms of fan passion is Bangladesh and the victory is only going to add to this phenomenon.
With South Africa and Sri Lanka struggling and with Zimbabwe no longer a force to reckon with, we need a new superpower to go with India, Australia, England, New Zealand and to a degree Pakistan. Bangladesh can easily be the new force with a serious fan base behind it.