It is exactly 10 years on November 10 since Shahriar Hossain, the adventurous opener, faced up to Javagal Srinath in Bangladesh’s first-ever Test back in 2000. The 10th Test-playing nation made a heart-warming start, making India chase the game for most of the game before imploding in a session and losing the game inside four days.
The odd glimpse of brilliance, the sessions of improvement and a grand total of three victories does not paint the exact picture of Bangladesh’s progress in the five-day game, the real test of cricket.
While most of the blame lies with the system through which cricket is run in the country and some of the insolence displayed by its batsmen over the years has never helped, a political hand has always been tagged with Bangladesh’s rise in international cricket.
There is no doubt that the Asian bloc’s ambition to broaden its reach played a role in Bangladesh’s selection as a Test-playing country, the truth lies in the fact that cricket has always been a major sport here and has drawn big money, crowds and fame.
Like Sri Lanka, Bangladesh have slowly adopted the idea of improving its limited overs game through development in the Test matches. It has only began to work with the 4-0 whitewash of New Zealand last month.
But a record of three Test wins (and six draws) from 68 matches obviously give more reasons for those in the wider cricketing circle who were (and are) against Bangladesh’s Test status. Thankfully, the discouragement has always worked in favour of the cricketers here in Bangladesh (remember Tamim Iqbal’s blast at Geoff Boycott last summer in England?).
The media has always kept the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) and its players on its toes and the sheer love for cricket has also helped bring out some brilliant talents.
The advent of professionalism hasn’t yet taken a good grip on Bangladesh cricket but in another 10 years time, a better record would surely reflect the state of the game here.
Article by Mohammad Isam