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Bangladeshi sports:
The best and worst of 2006

Though we cannot really be branded as a successful nation sporting wise, this past year has been extremely good for Bangladesh. There has been the occasional flicker of brilliance, (well a little more than occasional in fact), and some gloomy events here and there sort of balanced the boat. For a quick review of the sports scene of the year past, read on:

Timeline: 2006

Jan 1 2006,
An old friend passes away

Eddie Barlow, former South African all-rounder and former coach of Bangladesh cricket team passes away at 65. Barlow was a true, selfless friend of Bangladesh cricket and he was the first coach who outlined a long-term development plan for the nation's most favourite sport.

Jan 28 2006,
Young tigers bow out

Bangladesh crashes out of the quarterfinals of the under-19 cricket world cup, after beating New Zealand and Pakistan, and emerging as group champions in the first round. Branded as one of the favourites before the start of the tournament, the team finally finished at 5th place after beating Sri Lanka and West Indies later in the tournament.

Feb 20, 2006
Chacha walks off in style

Ex- captain and veteran all rounder Khaled Mahmud retires from international cricket by playing his last match against Sri Lanka in Bogra. Mahmud was key in orchestrating the historic win against Pakistan in the 1999 world cup, and also played a key role in the bowling department in the test series against Pakistan.

Feb 22, 2006
Asians beaten

Bangladesh beat Sri Lanka in the second one day international of the three match series to level it 1-1. The first ever win against the former world champions means that Bangladesh now have won against all three of their Asian opponents.

April 1, 2006
Football boss arrives in town

FIFA President Sepp Blatter arrives in Dhaka to attend the opening ceremony of the inaugural AFC Challenge cup. Bangladesh's high hopes as hosts later suffered a fatal blow as they crashed out of the quarterfinals, losing 6-1 to Tajikistan.

April 10, 2006
Bangladesh strips Aussie pride

Mighty Australians are left reeling after two days of extraordinary performance by Bangladesh. In reply to Bangladesh's 427 Australia are 145/6 at the end of the 2nd day, still needing 83 runs to avoid follow-on. This spirited show comes as a sweet revenge for the hosts after Ricky Ponting made a statement just prior to the tour that Bangladesh don't deserve to play test cricket.

May 3006
World Cup in Bangladesh!

Bangladesh has won the bid to host the 2011 cricket world cup jointly with India, Pakistan and Sri-Lanka. The opening ceremony will take place in Bangladesh along with 6 matches.

May 19, 2006
Hockey champs among minnows

Bangladesh beat Hong Kong 2-0 to become unbeaten champions of the Asian Games Hockey qualifying tournament. Bangladesh later had a forgettable outing at the final stage of the tournament, where they finished at 7th place after some heavy defeats.

June 8, 2006
Another GM is born

Reefat bin Sattar becomes the third Grandmaster of the country after he manages to raise his rating to over the required 2500 points in the International Chess Olympiad.

September 1, 2006
Golden trio

Bangladesh finishes their SAF games campaign with three gold medals. The winners are Mahfuzur Rahman Mithu in athletics, Shahjahan Ali Rony in swimming, and Mizanur Rahman in Taekwando.

October 2, 2006
Yet another bad cop day

The cops of Bangladesh now flex their muscles and test their batons on champion shooters Asif and Shoeb, and a few others, leaving the two seriously injured. The incident, though shameful in the most extreme sense of the word, is not very surprising since our cops already earned much d-fame earlier this year by brutally beating up scores of sports journalists.

November 6, 2006
Zizou enthralls Bangladesh

Legendary footballer Zinedine Zidane arrives in Bangladesh to formally open the Danone foods company. In his short tour, he will also make a brief appearance on the field during the exhibition match between the Mohammedan and Abahani under-17 teams.

November 13, 2006
Alfaz calls it quits

Ace forward and ex-captain of the national football team Alfaz Ahmed announces his retirement from international football. Alfaz has been a star player of the team for many years after he began his career 11 years back.

December 9, 2006
Archrivals whitewashed

Bangladesh whitewash old foes Zimbabwe 5-0 and win the Aktel series comprehensively. Though Bangladesh already defeated Kenya 5-0 and 4-0 this year in the home and away series, this is the first time they whitewashed a test nation. Before the series started, the hosts played their first ever twenty-twenty against the same side, winning that in style too.

December 15, 2006
A day of personal milestones

The year seems to end on a high note for Bangladeshi cricket, as Mashrafee and Shahriar Nafees have both achieved significant personal milestones. Mashrafee is now the highest ODI wicket taker of the year, overtaking Nathan Bracken and Brett Lee, while Nafees has scored over 1009 runs in the calendar year with his innings of 36 against Scotland. It will be unfair not to mention the veteran Mohammad Rafique, who achieved the feat of scoring 1000 runs and taking 100 wickets, the first ever for Bangladesh. It was indeed a memorable year for Bangladeshi cricket as a whole as the team is now the 3rd most successful team in ODI in 2006 with a win percentage of 63. With high spirits and hopes for even better days, this is Tausif, signing off.

By Tausif Salim

Hybrid Bangali Teenagers

If all the people who gave their lives in the independence war at 1971 could come back and haunt us now, I am sure they would do it more vehemently than they had back then.

Look around you…the very language for all these martyrs fought is being mangled right and left, and teenagers today think it is very smart to admit the fact that they are not as fluent in Bangla as they are in English. True, the English language has bridged the connection gap across the world for many different groups of people, and has successfully provided a common base for people to communicate through. While people from all other countries accept this common base, they do not deny the respect that their own mother language deserves. Only in Bangladesh, which is the only nation that fought for our mother language, people take delight in distorting the entire language in such a way that it seems that the revolution was for a lost cause. We might as well have stayed a part of Pakistan, considering the amount of respect we give to our own mother tongue.

Teenagers of the present think of the Bangla language as the inferior language, only to be used when there are no other options left, and English language as a means of showing off their sophistication, when the opposite should be happening.

This trend exists mostly among the English Medium school students. Their ideology is that since they are studying through the English medium, it is their duty to forget their mother language and adopt a foreign language like it was their mother language. I have seen a lot of kids who are very fluent in English, but can't even read one line of Bangla at one go. This is not a crime, but a shame, which should and can be rectified if one is willing to go through Bangla books. Reading is not a crime either, but unfortunately, nobody has the time for such trivial matters when they have the latest computer games to get hooked on to. The distortion of the Bangla language is rampant, but there is nothing anyone is doing about it. Neither are the teenagers realizing that their adaptation of fake accents isn't making anything better.

Speaking of accents, it makes sense when you have lived outside for some time and have inevitably picked up an accent, which no one can blame you for. But only God knows how many times I had to refrain myself from ramming the person's head through the wall when I hear this fake accent even though the person has hardly traveled outside the vicinity of Dhaka city. All these people do not realize that their attempt at trying to be unique by having a fake accent makes them one step closer to being the titleholder for stupidity. Try that fake accent outside, and someone is bound to tell you to try being yourself instead of aping others.

Try to be yourself a very meaningful line, but very few people actually understand the meaning of this line. As a Bangali, I am not going to personify every characteristic that we have to have in order to be a Bangali, but the basic concept of this line is simple; don't be someone else. The ultra modern urban population of the country seems to have a natural knack for adopting the mundane and meaningless traits from the West, and none of their positive aspects.

Consider this; our culture (and by our, I specifically mean the upper class of our society) is dictated by the Western media, so we dress up like they do, wear baggy jeans, drive cars worth millions in a country where most people cannot afford a full meal day after day, go to parties and spend thousands at clubs when there are homeless families huddled right outside those clubs. I could go on and on about our adaptation in taking the things that eventually has no meaning, but do we ever consider the meaningful things that the western culture has to offer? Are we very time conscious? Do we respect other people? Do we respect the laws of the very country that our grandfathers, fathers, brother gave their lives for? Do we have any shred of moral decencies? I think, the answer would be a unanimous NO.

I did not write all this so that I can pinpoint all the faults that the contemporary teenagers have. It doesn't make me proud to write all this, because it is quite shameful that these are the current trends among the ultra modern teenagers of our society. I just hope they realize their mistakes and rectify them before it's too late.

By Asifur Rahman Khan


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