July 19, 2003


For those of you who are trying to figure out what cricket is, it is a sport like baseball with bats, balls & players but the rules and ways are somewhat different.

Cricket has been played as a recognized sport since the early 18th century. The first recorded match was played in Sussex, England in 1697. Cricket is popular among the commonwealth countries where the British Empire ruled.

Cricket has been played in Bangladesh for nearly 200 years, having been introduced by the British rulers. Following the bloody freedom struggle, which ended in Bangladesh gaining independence in 1971, cricket has continued to grow.

In 1997, Bangladesh won the ICC Trophy in Malaysia, qualifying for its first ever world cup appearance. Soon after, Bangladesh, along with Kenya was granted full One Day International (ODI) status by the ICC. Bangladesh posted its first ODI win against Kenya in India in 1998.

In June 2000 Bangladesh earned the test status not for their playing standard but for the potential. Those who are wondering what the test status is, it is an elite class of ten members among the cricket playing nations who can play the official Five-Day Test Matches.

Bangladesh's passion for football is notable. But passion for cricket is spreading rapidly because of its success. If you go to rural areas you will find street kids playing in unprepared fields with makeshift bats. Its not that they want to excel in play and are trying to make some money by becoming professional players, but they simply love the game.

It is unlikely that a nation of almost 14 million people will not be able to produce 11 world-class players to make a real competition among test playing nations. But after getting the Test status, Bangladesh's form and Performance are declining. This is a blow to the cricket lovers and their inclusion among test nation is being harshly criticized.

I just want to say to the people who criticizes Bangladesh's bad performance questioning the eligibility of their test status: 'If you criticize a baby every time it falls it will never try to walk again and rather be cripple for the rest of the life.'

So I hope established cricket playing nations would provide Bangladesh with their help, guidance and support so that it can walk easily someday.

Bangladesh is currently on a Tour to Australia playing a Test match against the hosts in Darwin. The first day was bad for Bangladesh. With the efforts of Bangladesh's new Australian coach Dave Whatmore, they showed some resilience in the 2nd day against the mighty Australians (Currently ranked as No. 1 in the world and the current world champs). Current Score after 2nd days play: Bangladesh 97 all out (1st Innings) & 70/1 (2nd Innings), Australia 407/7 declared (Steve Waugh 100, D. Lehmann 110). However the play is likely to last only 3 days with Bangladesh's succumbing to defeat to Australians.

Tim Blair has precisely described the event: 'For Bangladesh, this is like Australia taking on Italy in soccer.'

Update: Michael Jennings' thoughts on day two of the Bangladesh v Australia test are here.


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