Yesterday was the day that Khulna had been waiting for -- the return of one-day internationals for the first time since 2006. The Sheikh Abu Naser Stadium filled up rapidly to its capacity of 10,800. There had been a mad rush for tickets such that wherever you went in the city, the availability or lack thereof of tickets was the refrain.
It seems the fates decided to reward the city's cricket lovers with an unexpected Bangladesh win, and smiles were pasted on faces as the crowd slowly filed out of the stadium after a fruitful day.
“I am delighted with Bangladesh's victory today,” said Saimum Khan, an SSC candidate of Khulna's Navy school. “I stood in line for two days to get tickets, but the pain was definitely worth it.”
Dolon, a Mangrove Polytechnic Institute student complained about mismanagement regarding tickets. “I had to go through a lot of trouble to get a ticket,” he said, adding that there was a lot of tickets sold through the black market. Regarding Bangladesh's performance, he said: “They bowled well. It would have been better if the ninth wicket hadn't scored so many, we could have gotten them out for less. Tamim Iqbal and Shohag Gazi played excellently.”
Sukhina Begum, assistant professor of Mujib Memorial City College, while happy about Bangladesh's performance, was disappointed with the overzealous security measures at the ground as well as the manner of ticket sales, which took place at the Khulna District Sports Association Stadium.
“The security measures were too much, and it took too long to get inside the stadium. Also, if tickets were sold at different booths and outlets around the city, we would not have had to go through so much pain to get hold of them. But I am happy that Bangladesh played well, and I want them to keep up this performance, which they haven't done in the past. Also, I am happy that the International stand has been renamed the Manzarul Islam Rana stand, but I
feel it should have happened earlier.”