June 18, 2005


I am writing this shortly after Bangladesh’s historic win against Australia in a Natwest trophy one-dayer. According to BBC this is probably the biggest upset in the history of cricket where the top of the league got outplayed by the rock bottom. Read all about it here. We are of course elated by this win. It is the middle of the night and there are drumbeats and dances among the small procession of juveniles in the lane besides my house.

This must be a shock to many but this victory of Bangladesh is a reply to all those who think Bangladesh do not deserve the Test status and do not belong to the elite class of cricket. Ashraful got a wonderful 100 and showed his class. The problem with him is consistency and I hope he does not make a duck in the next match. I could not watch the game all through but was lucky to be in front of TV in the fag end of the match. To me the greatest moment of the match was the 50th over's first ball, when Bangladesh still needed 7 runs of 6 balls. Aftab smashed a brilliant six of Gillespie and Bangladesh actually won that very moment. This sting Bangladesh was lacking until recently. He is surely a talented player to follow in the near future.

You may be wondering by now why I have chosen this title of the post. Actually many are not aware that Bangladesh’s cricket structure is being developed according to a plan. This plan was envisaged by Eddie Barlow, the South African cricketing Guru, who was the coach and the development manager of Bangladesh Cricket team. Sadly, Eddie had to go out of the scene because of health conditions.

No other nation than Australia came forward to lend a hand for Bangladesh. Australian Cricket Board signed a MOU with the Bangladesh Cricket Board under which lots of things are happening in Bangladesh. There are under 13, under 15, under 17 & under 19 development squads. The grounds are being developed with Australians help and guidance. Bangladesh had the privilege of having some good Australian coaches at these levels and now the Bangladesh senior team is guided by the charismatic Dav Whatmore, who is also an Australian.

Well here is my message to Australia. Bangladesh played well today and Australia seemed a bit out of touch. But we Bangladeshis acknowledge what a fine team Australia is. Bangladesh has still a long way to develop its standard. This one win does not take away anything from Australia’s cricketing supremacy and pride. Australia has won in a broader sense, because it has helped Bangladesh develop to this stage. Bangladesh is grateful to Australia for guiding it so far and Bangladesh will be looking forward to raise its standards in the shortest possible time, Australia being its role model. So thank you Australia.

And to the cricket fans of the world. You have seen Bangladesh's potential. It is a young team and I would request all to stand by their ups and downs for a reasonable time so that they gain enough experience. Bravo Bangladesh team. Its celebration time.

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