View Full Version : A Founder of Bangladesh Cricket

October 10, 2003, 12:13 PM
It was for a simple article written by Andrew Miller - that Bangladesh authorities applied to the ICC for the ICC Associate member-status.

I am not sure if he had come with the England 'A' team to Bangladesh a few years back, but now he is again back in Bangladesh and has written this article on Cricinfo.

I can say that he is the 'Father of all Journalists to write for Bangladesh Cricket'.

England in Bangladesh 2003-04

A green and muddy land

Roving Reporter by Andrew Miller in Dhaka

October 10, 2003

Squelch: tip-toeing through the puddles in Dhaka
Getty Images

The runs may have been pouring at Perth and Ahmedabad, but deluges of a less metaphorical nature have been dominating the headlines from Dhaka. On Wednesday morning England arrived in Bangladesh to be greeted by monsoonal conditions, courtesy of a hurricane in the Bay of Bengal. These have scarcely abated since. The upshot is a National Stadium whose outfield is as pondweed-green as the rice plantations that dominate the rural landscape, and no less soggy either.

Whatever impression the Bangladeshis hoped to make as England visited the country for the first time, it could not have been this. The tour party has been reduced to scurrying through the showers and weaving through the traffic bedlam, flitting from the luxurious isolation of the Sonargaon Hotel to the practice facilities of the BKSB, Bangladesh's first (and only) indoor sports academy.

It is a route that takes them north, away from the squalid heart of Dhaka, but instead along the appropriately soulless Airport Road, past military cantonments, diplomatic sectors, and a large and muddy golf course. With further bad weather predicted in the coming weeks, England can expect to spend several hours a day sat in traffic jams, wistfully watching the drizzle roll down the windows. It is the way of the modern tour; compact, constraining, and increasingly the victim of less-than-clever scheduling.

On the field at least, the situation may yet work to Bangladesh's advantage if the rains decide to abate England's lack of acclimatisation, coupled with their need to beat both the opposition and the weather, are factors that will be seized upon by Dav Whatmore, a coach who is being lionized on a daily basis by the local media. But, let's face it, there is far more to this tour than mere cricket, and from a public relations point of view, things could not be going much worse.

Aesthetically, Bangladesh offers little that cannot be found in other, trendier countries, and all the while the stench of poverty is unmistakable. But beneath a sea of umbrellas and makeshift polythene rain-hats (Bangladeshis seem strangely averse to the elements) lie some of the friendliest and most genuine people on earth. With every drop of rain they are being robbed of the opportunity to showcase their true selves.

I must admit, when I arrived at the airport hotel-less, backpacked and knackered after a 14-hour trip I was more than willing to be swept along by a local guide, who would shove me in a taxi and usher me to a cheap guest-house for a taka or two of baksheesh. But my Western cynicism was soon sent scattering. Within seconds, my guide and I were chatting animatedly about every aspect of my trip; within hours I had been introduced to a host of his friends (one of whom, a computer expert, set about rigging my laptop up to the local server); and then, after a brief and very essential kip, it was time to sample the local nightlife.

Bangladesh is a Muslim country, albeit one that distances itself from the more fundamental elements that are prevalent to the West. As a consequence, alcohol use is tolerated but kept very low-profile. I was led to a restaurant-style bar near the centre of town, one of many such establishments that are sanctioned by the government. The absence of lighting gave the place an unduly rebellious feel, but there was nothing seedy about the premises or the clientele.

Bangladesh's interest in cricket ranges from the curious to the committed (like many others, my guide was primarily a Manchester United fan, and even admitted to having pictures of David Beckham plastered over his walls). But without fail, their only desire is to record a victory of any description, in any sport. Cricket is just the latest to rise to prominence, and thanks to the strength of the game throughout Asia, it is the best-placed to deliver sustained success to a country that has suffered more than its fair share of ill-luck in a troubled history.

Wisden Cricinfo Ltd

Cricinfo (http://www-usa.cricket.org/link_to_database/ARCHIVE/CRICKET_NEWS/2003/OCT/276049_BDESHENG2003-04_10OCT2003.html)

October 10, 2003, 12:26 PM
Any news on how long this depression in Bay of Bengal will continue? Will it likely to wash away all the matches?
I sure hope we don't get robbed of some cricket action at home.
I am very much ready see the Bangla Tigers roar against English Lions!

October 10, 2003, 11:30 PM
Today the weather seems fine now - in the morning. But as the weather goes, it rains in the afternoon.

I checked the yahoo weather, its going to be 'partly cloudy' until 15th October. So the 1st practice match won't probably be rained off.

But there is a 'scattered thunderstorms' sign in the Extended Weather Forecats on 16th and 17th October, with rain forecasted from 50% to 20% upto 18th October.

Then it is again 'partly cloudy' from 18th October and so on.