Bangladesh taste Test success and Tendulkar turns it on
January 10, post lunch session at Chittagong. Mashrafe bin-Mortaza is on the edge of his run up with the last Zimbabwean pair at the crease. Bangladesh are just a wicket away from ending their five-year wait for an elusive first Test win. Mortaza takes a few steps forward, stops and then goes back to the top of his mark again. Another attempt to begin the run up also fails as tries in vain to hold back tears. It seemingly takes an eternity for Mortaza to finally finish that delivery and although it did not fetch him the wicket, those few seconds of inimitable emotion epitomised Mortaza's own struggles, overcoming immense odds, chasing dreams and turning them into reality.
Brimming with the confidence gained from that now legendary triumph against Australia, Bangladesh headed for Sri Lanka hoping to spring a surprise or two. The first warning came in the three-match ODI series in which they lost all the games handsomely. However, things looked rosy on day one of the first Test at Colombo as Habibul Bashar and Mohammad Ashraful dictated terms. Bangladesh reached 155 for 2 and then Ashraful played an outrageous shot to hole out at extra cover. It was a totally unnecessary and irresponsible act and that moment of indiscretion wrote the series script for Bangladesh. The next seven wickets went down for 33 and the Tigers never reached 200 in the remaining three innings.
Rabeed Imam is a writer with the Daily Star in Bangladesh
October 25, 2005 Sachin Tendulkar returns after eight months of endless visits to air conditioned clinics and what a return it was. Dancing down the track to Murali, pulling the medium pacers and once amazingly at the very last minute, he changed from an intended reverse sweep to an orthodox one. News filtered in later that during those dark eight months he had even thought about quitting. With that backdrop those two ODI innings against the Lankans were a joy. It was like suddenly bumping into your old true love and reliving some magical moments, but you are left with a mixed reaction; will she come back to you or is it just a one-off. 2006 will provide us with the answer.
The continuing crisis in West Indies cricket; the player contracts issue, sponsorship conflicts, board mismanagement and even when a ray of hope was offered by the billionaire Stanford, the reluctance shown by the different regions to accept the terms and the lack of vision to see beyond Chanderpaul for a leader. There has been collapse all round; public sector failure, mismanagement; the greed of private enterprise, holding the players to ransom. The great calypso music has now turned into a dirge, Lara alone turns on some style with a little bit of help from a young new Bravo but it's not enough to satisfy.
Sriram Veera is editorial assistant of Cricinfo