A year filled with moments of glory and misery for the Bangladesh Cricket team. Photo: Star File
2012 – The Year of Cricket!
'I felt very sad seeing the people and the players crying. Could be either ways. Bangladesh lost, but won the hearts of million people, in fact they won everything except the cup! Be aware world, Bangladesh is the new terror!’
- Brian Lara, (A former West Indian international cricket player. He is generally regarded as one of the greatest batsmen of all time.)
That was said by the great cricketer, Brain Lara, after Bangladesh lost to Pakistan in the Asia Cup finals last year. That day will be forever remembered for a lot of cricket lovers like us. That was the game when the national team connected with the whole nation emotionally. They showed their passion and we saw it out there. Emotions ran high and the Sher-e- Bangla stadium was engulfed in it. Never had they played such a high profile game; for the first time, odds were not stacked against them and they played, not like underdogs but as heavyweights at par with their opposition, Pakistan. No regrets, no nothing- 160 million people might have been breathless during that last over and maybe we got a little overwhelmed by the situation. But there was nothing anyone could say about how they played. The Bangladeshi fans in the 25,000 capacity crowd Sher-e-Bangla Stadium in Dhaka, took a few moments to console themselves before they eventually stood up for their heroes. Their team may have failed to win the cup, but they certainly won the hearts of millions of cricket fans around the world.
And from that the team never seemed to look back anymore. Our players finally took the team to a level where we could actually say, “Who are we playing against? India? Pakistan? Bring it on!” We have been criticised too many times. It was time for our tigers to make a stand, and they did. It was a year filled with events like the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL), which gave us many talented players like Elias Sunny, Mominul Haque and Shohag Gazi from the bunch. And it doesn't end there; our nation's favourite hero Shakib Al Hasan kept proving to the world why he is the number one all rounder. Bagging two 'Man of the series' awards in two consecutive tournaments was like a breath of fresh air in our cricketing world.
But the unexpected was still to come. Coming out of two well played tournaments, Bangladesh had new contenders coming at the end of 2012. The West Indians came, but couldn't conquer. Playing five one day internationals (ODI) without Shakib Al Hasan was the surprise for most of the fans --being left out due to injury. Many thought there wasn't hope, but the spirit that they have shown without Shakib in the team was mesmerising. The new comers had a chance to make a point, and they sure did. Anamul Haque and Shohag Gazi were the talk of the tournament through out till Bangladesh finally clinched the series away from the Caribbean's. And finishing the year of successful cricket with some 'Gangnam Moves' in the stadium seemed like the perfect ending to a good year.