The Return of Pride: Enter Abul Hasan!
Photo: Star File
As long as Bangladesh has been playing test cricket, I do not remember having any feeling of pride. As a matter of fact, I do not even watch Bangladesh's test matches. It always ends in an uncomfortable amount of disappointment.
However, regardless of the format of the game, we have our good days too (although mostly bad, especially when it comes to test cricket). There is, sometimes, one key player who does something magical and raises hopes to an unimaginable extent. We then begin expecting that very same player to conjure some more miracles in upcoming matches and the situation ends up very much like this- first ball, no run and then the wicket is gone. Once again, we are left heartbroken, teary eyed and foul mouthed.
Since Shakib Al Hasan happened, we have not really been able to connect emotionally with any other player. Mahmudullah has his days, so does Tamim and sometimes Shafiul provides a glimpse of hope. But there was no one else who we could count on in every match. However, all that was to change; just a couple of days ago when there came a boy, who no one had seen play a test match before. He was young, messy haired, of dark complexion-- like any other Bangladeshi cricket player. The unassuming youngster gave no hint that something special was about to happen.
The field was set and Bangladesh was facing West Indies. Khulna hosted its first ever test match. It was the second match between the two teams, day one. West Indies was clearly in-charge when Fidel Edwards and Darren Sammy reduced Bangladesh to 98 for five wickets, midway through the afternoon session, although Nasir Hossain's half-century made a significant difference. Bangladesh then lost three more quick wickets – with Edwards completing a five-wicket haul. Enter Abul Hasan-- the debutante, playing his first ever test match. Classy strokes, blistering boundaries and a very upset Sunil Narine was what we witnessed during that inning of the young boy. With Mahmudullah on 72 not out, steadying up the runs and giving him full support, Abul Hasan took the score to a respectable 365 for eight. At the number 10 position in the batting line up, Abul Hasan became the second man ever to score a century as the last wicket in a debut game. Yes, history was created by a Bangladeshi cricketer.
As much as we have had our broken-hearted rants about inconsistency, lack of classy stroke-makers, not having someone to depend on, one of our tigers put his name up in the history books of the cricketing world that day. And that is more than enough to be proud of. That is something we can boast about for years to come. Once again, and I say this with the chances of being hurt and deceived again, we have found hope. We have found faith. We have found another Hasan.