From underdogs to world-beaters, the story of the Bangladesh national cricket team is in many ways the perfect tale. A tale that can be told on the biggest screen and one that could highlight the triumph of determination and dedication. But the story of Bangladesh cricket isn't so simple.
The story of the Bangladesh cricket team isn't a perfect fairy tale in which the ending is just what everyone hopes for. There is no clear perfect narrative arc in which the Bangladesh national cricket team suddenly turns a corner and transforms themselves into a side that is capable of going toe-to-toe with the best in the business.
Because reality, unlike fairy tales don't have the perfect script and story line. While it is true that Bangladesh cricket team have come a long way since their integration to the international cricket arena, it has been a journey that has been filled with plenty of struggles, obstacles and scars, which might never truly go away.
After all, no matter how good the recent successes might be, they simply can't erase the fact that Bangladesh own the record for the most successive losses in Tests and ODIs. While the Bangladesh national cricket team has come a long way from there, they are still a part of their history, a painful one that they still are unable to truly let go of.
The tale of Bangladesh cricket began in the 1979 ICC Trophy in England and seven years later, they played their first ODI match. Cricket was still in its infancy in a country in which football was the most popular sport. The fact that the Bangladesh cricket team weren't uprooting many trees on the international stage meant that that was the norm was a while.
That was until the Bangladesh cricket team shocked the world in 1999. By winning the ICC Trophy in 1997, they managed to qualify for the World Cup that was to be held in England, two years later. It was there that the fairytale finally started to take shape. They defeated Pakistan and that made the entire cricketing world stand up and take them seriously.
That victory along with their victory over Scotland showed that they weren't just going to be punching bags any more. In 2000, Bangladesh cricket board finally got what they wanted as the country was granted full ICC membership and became the 10th Test nation.
If the story line seems too good to be true, it turned out to be the case. Because, Bangladesh had to wait for five years before they recorded another victory in ODIs. While they shocked the world in the 1999 World Cup, they were beaten in 23 consecutive ODIs between 2001 and 2004, beating their own previous record of 22, set between 1986 and 1998. And that is a record which remains unbroken to this day.
However, better things followed soon after as Zimbabwe were the unfortunate victims. Bangladesh cricket ended their ODI win drought and also claimed their maiden Test victory by beating Zimbabwe. Several Bangladesh cricket players who took part in that game went down in the country's cricket history.
Since then, things have slowly turned out and while they still manage to loss more than they win against the top sides, their defeat of the major players is no longer seen as an upset. While they are no longer the under dogs, their recent victories and the celebrations that followed it certainly indicate that despite their recent strong performances, especially at home, which included victories over India, South Africa, England and Australia, their painful history that has seen them lose far too often has meant they are yet to let go of the past, which they seem to cling on to with renewed vigor.
The current Bangladesh cricket team captain in Tests is Shakib Al Hasan, who also leads the team in T20Is while the ODI captain is Mashrafe Mortaza. After a revival under the leadership of Chandika Hathurusingha, the Bangladesh cricket team are currently coached by a legendary West Indian fast bowler, Courtney Walsh, who was appointed Bangladesh cricket coach in 2018.
The current list of Bangladesh cricket players include some players who hold their national records. Tamim Iqbal is the leading run-scorer for Bangladesh in Tests, ODIs and T20Is while Shakib Al Hasan is the country's leading wicket-taker in Tests and T20Is.
Bangladesh cricket schedule for 2018 currently features an away series against West Indies, home series against Afghanistan and the Asia Cup before they travel to Australia for an ODI and Test series. Bangladesh cricket fixtures for winter 2018 sees them host West Indies across all three formats.
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