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Saber Chowdhury, the president of the Bangladesh Cricket Board, described his country's elevation to Test status as the third most historic event in their national life, behind independence and the adoption of a United Nations mother-tongue day commemorating the suppression of the Bengali language under Pakistani rule. Certainly, the five days of celebrations leading up to the inaugural Test against India reflected its perceived importance to the national well-being. Events included a ceremonial dinner, a vivid firework display, school activities and the recording of a song written by a local journalist. Among the gestures of goodwill from the existing Test nations was the donation of ten corneas from the Board of Control for Cricket in Sri Lanka to help visually impaired Bangladeshis. Two of them were fitted in time for the beneficiaries to see the game.
A near-capacity crowd of around 40,000 watched the first day's play, which began after a simple but poignant opening ceremony in which parachutists carried flags from each of the ten Test-playing countries into the Bangabandhu Stadium. During the tea interval, Naimur Rahman, the Bangladesh captain, and Yuvraj Singh, a member of the Indian squad, injected four children with a polio vaccine to promote a new immunisation programme. The Bangladesh team delighted supporters as they advanced to 400 over the first two days. Their performance then gradually dropped off; so did attendances, as the later stages coincided with the Muslim festival of Shab-e-Barat, during which Allah is said to write the destiny of all men. Bangladesh's destiny, on this occasion, was defeat.
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