A bus containing 15 cricketers who played for Sylhet in the recently concluded National Cricket League (NCL) almost plunged off a bridge in Bhairab on its way back to Dhaka. Players stated that the bus had hit the railing of the bridge after which the front tire of the vehicle nearly went over the edge.
The accident took place just before dawn yesterday. The driver reportedly lost control of the car as he tried to avoid a static truck in the middle of the road. “It was an abandoned truck in the middle of the road that led to the accident. The left side of our bus hit the bridge's railing and the tire almost went outside the bridge,” said Alok Kapali, a player from the team.
“We carefully got off from the other side of the bus,” he added. The players were then stuck in a Bhairab restaurant from 5 am to 7:30 pm as they were not able to avail any other bus service due to the general strike called by the opposition party. “None of the players were hurt. But honestly speaking, the damage could have been a lot worse. We are alive today just because of everybody's prayers,” said Kapali.
The team was originally scheduled to leave Rangpur yesterday morning. However, they decided to leave on Monday evening to avoid the strike. “Our game was over by 2 pm, so we left at 5,” said Kapali.
The captain of the team, Rajin Saleh narrated the incident to popular cricket website Espncricinfo. “We just about escaped. The bus was probably approached by a lorry from the right but most of us were asleep. We started off from Rangpur at 5:30 pm last evening and the drive was slow because of the fog. Probably it was a lorry which suddenly came, at least that's what the driver told us,” said Saleh.
The accident led Kapali to criticise the organising committee. “In all my years of domestic cricket, this year was the most tedious one. We were all fed up because of all the travelling. We had three games in Rangpur and it was really difficult going there from Sylhet by road every time,” said Kapali.
Sylhet lost their last game to Dhaka Metro by 9 wickets and finished fifth in the league tables.