The Surfer

Bangladesh's difficult love

Writing in The Indian Express, Daksh Panwar meets journalists and former cricketers in Bangladesh to chart the national team's difficult rise and try and understand what cricket means to the country

28-Jun-2015
Bangladesh won Test status in 2000, but cricket has occupied a place in the country's heart for far longer. But it hasn't been easy to be a Bangladeshi cricket fan. Writing in The Indian Express, Daksh Panwar meets journalists and former cricketers in Bangladesh to chart the national team's difficult rise and try and understand what cricket means to the country.
Athar Ali Khan, former cricketer and now commentator, says his fellow experts in the commentary box would often roll their eyes and pass a cheeky remark about Bangladesh. "It's not been an easy ride. It's not been an easy sailing," Khan says. He narrates an incident from Multan in 2003, when Bangladesh came closest to ending the streak, before going down by one wicket in a Test now best remembered for Inzamam-ul -Haq's heroics.
"(In that match, Pakistan's wicket-keeper) Rashid Latif took a catch of Alok Kapali. 'Terrific catch,' Rameez (Raja) screamed and went on and on. I said, 'I want to see that one more time. I don't think it's clean.' Rameez teased and said, 'Are you accusing them of cheating?' I said, 'No, I am just trying to see if he has been given out correctly.' He said, 'It's a typical Bangladeshi comment'. And I retorted, 'It's a typically dismissive Pakistani comment.'"
Latif later admitted he had claimed a dropped catch.