5 greatest moments in the history of Bangladesh Cricket
Bangladesh cricket is on a dream run right nowA bit of faith – coupled with some hard work – takes one a long way. There was once a time when Bangladeshis were in the dark regarding their cricket team. Despite having some talented players in the country, they couldn’t perform to their level.This disappointed the fans, who are ardent worshippers of the sport. What was worse is the fact that the fans have had to endure the pain of losing games from situations where it was impossible to do so. But after years of anguish, the sun is well and truly out now for the Tigers as they have won 4 ODI series in a row.The series win against South Africa has been one of the best moments of Bangladesh cricket, but it isn’t the only one as we look at the top 5 best moments in the history of Bangladesh Cricket…
#1 First ODI win
The year was 1998 and the place was India. Bangladesh were playing Kenya in the second game of the Coco Cola Triangular Series and were chasing a target of 237. Bangladesh made a tactical change by promoting legendary slow left-arm bowler Mohammad Rafique to opening.
And it worked like a charm as he slogged his way to 77 off just 87 balls, smacking 11 fours and a six in his time at the crease. He was supported very well by Athar Ali Khan’s 47 runs innings and Akram Khan got them over the line with a very handy 39 runs that came off his blade.
It was the Tigers’ first of many ODI wins and certainly among one of their best moments.
#2 Attaining Test status
26th June, 2000. This is a date that many Bangladeshis ought to remember. It was the day The Tigers attained Test status and stepped onto the stone of the elites.
Many argue that Kenya deserved it more than Bangladesh at that point and they are perhaps right. But what can’t be denied is that the passion of the fans for the game justifies that decision – it gave Bangladesh cricket team an advantage over Kenya.
The zealous nature of the fans still show why the decision was the right one. Though attaining Test status on the back of the fans’ appetite for the game doesn’t seem logical, Bangladesh team’s recent endeavors in the ODIs give hope for the longer version of the game and it is only a matter of time before they find their feet in the most demanding aspect of cricket.
#3 Winning against Pakistan in the 1999 World Cup
Every Bangladeshi fondly remembers this. The 1999 World Cup became a tournament of sheer joy when the Tigers, led by the legendary Akram Khan, beat Pakistan by 62 runs.
Shahriar Hossain and captain Akram Khan engineered this win and helped the team post a competitive target of 237. Some great bowling by the team, led by Khaled Mahmud’s great spell of 31 runs for 3 wickets, bowled out the strong Pakistan team for 161 runs.
This win also had a non-cricket-related bliss attached to it. After a brutal and savage war of 9 months, where the Pakistani forces killed millions of Bangladeshis, the freedom fighters and the allies freed the country from Pakistan.
So that win found a special place in the hearts of the patriotic people of the country. And it still does.
#4 Reaching the final of the Asia Cup
Bangladesh went into the Asia Cup 2012 as the least favourite among the four teams. The likes of Sri Lanka, India and Pakistan were tipped by many to play in the final.
However, Bangladesh beat all the odds and reached the final of the tournament after beating India and Sri Lanka in the group stage. It was a beautiful moment for the team, perhaps its best ever. No-one expected Bangladesh to win a game, let alone reach the final.
There was a sense of optimism and poetic tale when Bangladesh were taking on Pakistan in the final of that tournament. However, it all turned into a heartbreak when Pakistan beat Bangladesh to lift the Asia Cup. Regardless of the loss, it remains Bangladesh’s greatest achievement in ODI cricket.
#5 Winning four series on the trot
If consistency is the only measure taken here, then right now – this moment – is the greatest in the history of Bangladesh cricket. After a terrible 2014 – where they had their longest losing streak of 13 games – Mashrafe Mortaza took over the reins in November 2014 and since then the Tigers are going through their best streak in international cricket.
A series win against Zimbabwe, then reaching the quarter-finals of the World Cup, then beating Pakistan, India and South Africa consecutively has earned Bangladesh a place in the ‘teams-you-should-take-seriously’.
Bangladesh have proven that they are no longer minnows. The likes of Soumya Sarkar, Mustafizur Rahman and Sabbir Rahman have added a strong backbone to build on for the future, and the old guard is all ready to provide the guidance. Watch out for them.