1977 prior to the first visit of the MCC team to Bangladesh,
some Bangla -speaking sceptics cried out loud, 'how on earth
shall these Bangalee players play against the mighty Englishmen?'
These are the same disbelievers, who name anything Bombai
as soon as it is too hot, or prefix anything with raam
too highlight the enormity of a chaagol or a pond.
Twenty-eight years ago Yousuf Babu shut them up with a stylish
knock of 78. The cynic had the last say, 'these were old Englishmen'.
when we beat Pakistan lock, stock and barrel at Northampton
in a World Cup match, the disparagers were again at it. They
dropped tears as large as goat droppings and sobbed, 'it was
a fixed match'. What a load of bull!
when we beat India in a One-day International at Dhaka by
15 runs, our first against them, these misanthropists proclaimed
that the opposition did not field a full side, and moreover
it was a 'fixed match' to help Bangladesh maintain its Test
status. Is it believable that a country which sitting-and-getting-up
(uth-tay bosh-tay) plans to build a fence all along our border,
is engineering to suck us dry by diverting major rivers, enjoying
a 90:10 trade advantage and are one of the most nationalistic
citizens in the world shall willingly loose a match to minnows
Bangladesh for the latter's survival? That's a load of double
we snatch our first Test win within five years of our enrolment
in the world's top ten, there are talks from the same agnostics
that this was a junior Zimbabwe side, blah blah blah, what
with Heath, Flower, Flower and the whole bunch opting out.
These detractors have conveniently forgotten that we had beaten
the senior Zimbabwe team in Zimbabwe before their former captain
led a coup of sorts. So, is it our problem that they choose
to tour with an upcoming side?
on January 10, Bangladesh made history by claiming its maiden
Test victory at the 35th attempt in Chittagong, crushing Zimbabwe
by 226 runs. Bangladesh cricketers gave a fitting reply to
all the critics of its hard-earned Test status who questioned
so many momentous times in history we have to fall back on
the French emperor Napoleon I, who uttered 'Ability is nothing
without opportunity'. Test status was an opportunity and we
proved our ability.
the Test was hard and the fulfilment of a vision. The road
to full membership of ICC was arduous, the hurdles got steeper
as the mark of distinction got nearer. The idea crystallised
into a formal application after the 1997 ICC Trophy triumph,
when we pipped Kenya at the post in the last ball of a breathtaking
match at Kula Lumpur.
civil rights leader, and politician Jesse Jackson said, 'If
I can conceive it and believe it, I can achieve it. It's not
my aptitude but my attitude that will determine my altitude
with a little intestinal fortitude!' Yes, we have the stomach
to ascend to the top rungs of the Test ladder.
side is a young bunch of lads, some teenagers. But then 'almost
everything that is great has been done by youth', the former
British prime minister and writer Benjamin Disraeli is quoted
team has a learning period; some learn quickly, others take
longer. It's the mind-set that matters. It's important that
we learn in every match, at every dismissal and even at the
execution of a copy-book shot.
1962 West Indian cricketers were planning for an upcoming
tour of England, the Trinidadian prime minister, Eric Williams,
convinced his team had a few lessons well under control said,
'In the 1950s we went to learn, now we go to teach'.
we have achieved what several of the top Test teams took many
more years longer to attain, a first Test win, there is a
rush and a gush to proclaim who did how much and whose contribution
was absolutely fundamental and solely responsible. The number
runs in the hundreds.
shall be many who shall now claim credit, even among the cynics,
who were only the other day convinced that we were gifted
the Test status. Today they may want to defend their lost
case by pleading that we would not have found our way without
Truly can only quote American diplomat and politician Dwight
Whitney Morrow, who in a letter to his son wrote, 'The world
is divided into people who do things and people who get the
credit. Try, if you can, to belong to the first class. There's
far less competition'.
(R) thedailystar.net 2005