Tigers Made Bangladesh Proud
Bengal Tigers the name adoring fans call Bangladesh cricket team made Bangladesh proud through their inspired brilliant performance in the recently concluded ICC World Cup Cricket .Not that they won the cup or played in the final. But displaying fearless tiger like cricket they qualified from the group of death for the quarter final and went down fighting against the then defending Champion India in the much talked about Quarter Final at Iconic MCG. The controversial match had so many diabolic disputed umpiring decisions all of which went against Bangladesh .The match is under review of ICC.
Bangladesh cricket team playing on vastly different wickets and conditions played brilliantly aggressive cricket. Associate members Afghanistan and Scotland were no match for them. Bangladesh stunned the cricket world through sending the English Team home early .They also competed admirably well against the team of the tournament New Zealand and with a little beat of luck could even win. The evergreen leader Mashrafee Bin Murtaza getting over his physical conditions led the team from the front like a cheer leader. Reliable Mahamudullah and Mushfique provided the backbone of the batting through steady batting. Young Turks Soumya Sarkar, Sabbir provided depth and diversity in the batting. Only Tamim and Shakib were a bit below par in the batting. Rubel and Taskin bowled brilliantly .Mashrafee bowled with his hearts out.
Tigers brought the nation together. In a divided society for several reasons cricket acts as the binding force bringing all in one platform .It was like the feelings we had in 1971 during liberation war .We in Australia had so much of proud moments as Bangladesh was the talking point everywhere we travelled during the world cup. Bangladesh appearing twice at MCG created unforeseen excitements among Bangladeshi nation. Friends, cricketers and mates assembled from all over. Twice we assembled at Federation Sqaure Melbourne; twice we had Tiger parade from Federation Square to MCG before the match. Twice the national anthem was played at Iconic MCG; our flag flew brilliantly at MCG. We were fortunate among 10,000 proud Bangladeshis cheering the tigers on the hunt. It was such a great feeling which words cannot explain. We could not check emotions, tears rolled down our ears remembering our war heroes, fellow freedom fighter friends and relatives who led down their lives for creating our present and future. World heard the Bengal tigers roaring
Ever since we started loving cricket in our golden childhood in the 1960s Australia was a place of dream for its Cricket team. We were somehow involved with Bangladesh Cricket at its infancy. We were with Bangladesh cricket at its teething time .We were with first generation Bangladesh Cricket .Remember Bardul Huda Chowdhury, Tawfique Aziz Khan, Quamruzzaman, Abdul Hamid, Ata Ul Huq Mallick, Khoda Baksh Mridha and Manjoor Hasan Mintoo.All but Zaman Bhai have left us. Their voice inspired us. Akhtar Hossain Khan, Rouful Hasan,Masud Ahmed Rumi,Ekramuzzaman, Azam Mahmood, Salma Rafique,Nizam Uddin Ahmed , Jalal Ahmed,Ranjit Biswas and Poet turned sports writer Sanaul Huq Khan wrote so many critical analysis .Then came the new generation of sports writers Farhad Tito,Dulal Mahmood,Dilu Khandaker,Nazmul Amin Kiron,Utpol Shuvro,Shahidul azam,Hassan Mahmud babli, Mahfuzur Rahman,Rezaur Rahman Sohag and lot of others.They all made significant contributions in popularizing cricket in Bangladesh .
This writer eye witnessed how Bangladesh Cricket struggled for existence in its early days. Remember the afternoon when respected Zaman Bhai brought the Guardian Reporter to Dhaka stadium explaining him why international cricket must return to Bangladesh .Remember the day when Sports Writers played the first friendly match against Cricket team of Commonwealth Embassies eleven at Dhaka University playground. Can remember the day when Shamim Kabir and Roquibul Hasan went out to open the batting for Bangladesh against the touring MCC at Dhaka Stadium. This writer witnessed from close the troubled match of Pakistan Cricket team led by Majid Khan at Chittagong Stadium. Bangladesh advanced inch by inch, quarter by quarter. We also remember how the entire nation burst in joy when Bangladesh became champion in ICC associate members tournament .Rafique struck the memorable over boundary. Akram Khan led team won the laurels. How can we forget the joy after winning the first ever match against Pakistan in the World Cup? Bangladesh beating Australia in ODI through little Ashraful heroic is still reverberating. Bangladesh created history in 2007 knocking strong India out of World Cup in 2007 and rocking South Africa in the same tournament.
This year Bangladesh was not expected to do much as Australian New Zealand conditions are so different. But we had great faith in leader Mashrafee. We were aware of his commitment, his fighting spirit. We knew he would squeeze the best out of his comrades .A player in any game who had to go under surgeon’s knife seven times cannot even dream of playing not to speak of appearing in World Cup. He is exception; he is a precious gift for Bangladesh. We cannot say our preparation leading upto the tournament, team selection and team management was ideal. Yet the boys played excellent cricket talks very high of the players commitment and indomitable will to perform at the highest level .
The tigers gave some historic moments for the Bengali nation. The entire family of many Australia living Bangladeshis and many from different countries assembled in the cities around Australia and New Zealand to witness the matches. Millions of Bangladeshis all around the world enjoyed every moments tigers were on the hunt. Tigers made Bangladesh proud; tigers established Bangladesh brilliantly in World Sporting map. Bravo Mashrafee Sqaud .Let the spirit that the cricketers instilled act as beacon in Bangladesh nation building efforts.