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  #1  
Old March 19, 2016, 03:12 PM
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aklemalp aklemalp is offline
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Smile My Story: A Unique Style Of Support

My first memory of cricket was when I was a mere toddler. Barely able to hold the ‘pre-made’ bat that my father made from a coconut tree branch, he would bowl a tennis ball under-arm to me and I would try my best to hit it; failing many times to make a connection.
A few years later, with the company of my brothers and friends, we would play in the streets. This was where I got my first taste of defeat. I found it to be very bitter. To put it kindly, I was a sore loser.


Playing cricket in the streets of Guyana

This was around the same time that West Indies were seeing their dominance in world cricket fading away.
In the cricket world cup of 96, I supported my West Indies team all the way to the heartbreaking semi-final defeat to Australia. I have a very clear memory of that day. West Indies had a modest target of 208 to chase, they were cruising, and it was when Lara’s wicket fell did I feel like they were going to choke. We all know what happened next and who won that world cup, but I somehow felt that that was the moment where everything came crashing down for my team.
So most of you reading right now might be thinking where I am going with this…

I have a soft side for losers. In battle, one has to respect his opponent; before, during, and after.

The first time I saw Bangladesh playing was at the 99 World Cup. I have faint memories of them, mainly because they were not the team I was supporting. I would later learn that they created an upset in that tournament.

A couple of years after the 99 World Cup, news of a record-breaking century by a 17-year old kid from Bangladesh came to my attention.
From that point on, I began to take an interest in Bangladesh cricket. It was more of a curiosity than an interest. The team was young in terms of experience. They were getting thrashed by significant margins. A part of me felt that this wasn't fair. I began cheering them on. On that day Bangladesh had a new supporter: me.

At that point in time, I was merely a newcomer to high school. I was not a good student. I was getting bad grades while Bangladesh cricket team was swimming with sharks.

My team, West Indies on their first visit to Bangladesh in 2002, made light work of their opposition. Pedro Collins took the wicket of Hannan Sarkar off the first ball of the test series, and Jermaine Lawson finished the 1st test match with career-best figures of 6.5-4-3-6. Mind you, West Indies also was a weak and failing team at that time. I remember listening to the commentary on the radio of the bus every morning on my way to school. I got to know the names of some of the Bangladesh players: Captain Mashud, Bashar, Enamul Haque, and a crafty young pacer named Tapash Baisya.

I continue to do badly in school while Bangladesh was suffering defeat after defeat.

Two years later, Bangladesh were the visitors to the Caribbean. The 1st ball of the series was a copy of the test series in Bangladesh; Pedro Collins dismissing Hannan Sarkar off the first ball of the series. The 1st test ended in a draw after a dodgy and undefeated century from Mashud. Even though the result was not in favor of my West Indies, I was satisfied with the outcome. I sensed a determined Bangladesh team.

The next time I would get to see the Bangladesh team was in the 2007 World Cup in the West Indies. This time, they had a bunch of fresh-faced youngsters: Shakib, Mushfiqur, and Tamim. We all knew what took place in their match against India. The sight of a 17-year old Tamim dancing down the track to Zaheer Khan and hitting a six is still fresh in my memory. Their match against South Africa was played in my country, and they won that game as well. I felt joy after that victory as would any fan of Bangladesh cricket would have felt.

One of my cricketing heroes, Brian Charles Lara, retired during that World Cup.

By that time, I finished high school and went to work in the sugarcane fields as a 17-year old kid; a job that was not based on the outcome of my high school diploma. It was not pleasant, but I tried.

Another 2 years later, in 2009, Bangladesh visited the Caribbean. This time, they would play a depleted West Indies side. Bangladesh came to do a job, they did it, and they went back home with trophies and wins. They left Shakib as my new hero in cricket.

A couple of months later, I stumbled upon BanglaCricket and saw that it was a forum where supporters of Bangladesh would congregate and debate. I noticed the passion instantly. I joined as a member with little knowledge of Bangladesh and its cricketing history. My initial posts were immature due to my lack of writing skills. I liked visiting the forum. Bangladesh was on my mind for the most part during that period. My curiosity got me listening to a Bangladeshi song sung by Habib. BanglaCricket was the medium where I could share my passion with fellow supporters of Bangladesh cricket.

The build up to 2011 World Cup was very exciting. Since it was being held in the sub-continent, I felt that this was an opportunity to see for the first time how fans in Bangladesh supported their team. Even though the world cup turned out to be a disappointing for the team, I was impressed by the crowd support. The match versus England was worth remembering. A persevering, unbeaten 58 run partnership between Riyad and Shafiul took their team home, to create an upset in the tournament. I jumped with joy as the target got closer and closer.

The next 3 years, I would take an unnecessary leave from following all cricket. I missed the 2012 Asia Cup, which was a high point in cricket for Bangladesh.

When I re-started my cricket following, I became a more fervent follower of Bangladesh cricket and also a regular member of Banglacricket.

The year 2014 reminded me of 2004. Bangladesh could not even buy a win. They were making bad decisions and they were basically moving away from winning positions.

They got a new head coach and a bowling coach. Things were not going to change overnight. They visited the Caribbean and lost all their matches. To me, it looked like a timidity problem and not a coaching problem. In my head, I was thinking: "The Tigers have to change their approach to the game, time to grow up!!!".

The World Cup in 2015 was the stage that they decided to finally "Grow up". Rubel, Taskin, Riyad, Sabbir, and Souyma, all had breakout performances. The world witnessed a team that finally arrived to play a different brand of cricket. I was proud of their fearlessness. A totally changed team.

Taskin and co. brought a different brand of cricket

The series that followed the World Cup were the highest point in following Bangladesh cricket.

The arrival of Mustafizur brought stability in the bowling department for the Tigers. His career is young, he has a lot to look forward to in the future.

Another cricketer that I admire is Taskin. He's young and got the pace to trouble top quality batsmen. Having recently learn that he is suspended from bowling is a huge blow to the pace bowling battery of the team. I wish him the best and hope he returns better than ever. Stay strong Taskin, only a small hurdle it is.

If you ask me who is my favorite Bangladesh cricketer now, I wouldn't say Shakib. There are so many good cricketers in the team that it is hard to pick a favorite. I might tell you that my favorite Bangladesh cricketer is the current captain of the women's team.

My perspective of Bangladesh cricket is likened to that of a living entity. At this stage of its life, it is a 17-year old teenager. The days of curiosity, timidity, and juvenility are over. It is time for bravery and maturity to play as professionals with the eagerness of winning.

Make it count. Go Tigers!!!!!
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  #2  
Old March 19, 2016, 03:27 PM
Vepu Vepu is offline
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Excellent read bro. Now this is what I say FP material. Wheres gopal? Take note
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  #3  
Old March 19, 2016, 03:33 PM
Kohli_Sox Kohli_Sox is offline
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Awesome read as always aklemalp. You brought a smile on my face on this dark day.
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  #4  
Old March 19, 2016, 03:40 PM
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NoName NoName is offline
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Good read, keep it up
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  #5  
Old March 19, 2016, 03:42 PM
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This was a wonderful read. I am now very curious to learn more about your life as well aklemalp.
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  #6  
Old March 19, 2016, 03:53 PM
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aklemalp aklemalp is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vepu
Excellent read bro. Now this is what I say FP material. Wheres gopal? Take note
Thanks Bro Vepu

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kohli_Sox
Awesome read as always aklemalp. You brought a smile on my face on this dark day.
Glad to know that

Quote:
Originally Posted by NoName
Good read, keep it up
Thanks a lot bro

Quote:
Originally Posted by Navo
This was a wonderful read. I am now very curious to learn more about your life as well aklemalp.
Ahhh, in due time
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  #7  
Old March 19, 2016, 05:29 PM
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rezwansyed rezwansyed is offline
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Excellent article, I've been following you since u joined BC. Our only member from my once favorite team's location. Loved your presence here always. Guess what, B.C.Lara was also my childhood, teenage superhero. The day Lara retired from test-cricket, the sport of cricket became almost half the way it meant to me. Every Lara innings was like a dreamy trance for me. I used to stay awake all night long watching WIndies home series against all other. Even the last few series with Ambrose-Walsh playing was a treat to watch. I remember so many first sessions of a test match this couple bowled straight through to the lunch break. Ohh it was something. And every other WIndies innings was how long Lara-Chanderpaul or Lara-Adams or Lara-Richardson partnerships survive. Even among losses the few draws or fewer wins brought so much pleasure worth of sleepless nights. Those were the days before BD got test status, cricket was "WIndies Forever" all the way for me.
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  #8  
Old March 19, 2016, 05:49 PM
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aklemalp aklemalp is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rezwansyed
Excellent article, I've been following you since u joined BC. Our only member from my once favorite team's location. Loved your presence here always. Guess what, B.C.Lara was also my childhood, teenage superhero. The day Lara retired from test-cricket, the sport of cricket became almost half the way it meant to me. Every Lara innings was like a dreamy trance for me. I used to stay awake all night long watching WIndies home series against all other. Even the last few series with Ambrose-Walsh playing was a treat to watch. I remember so many first sessions of a test match this couple bowled straight through to the lunch break. Ohh it was something. And every other WIndies innings was how long Lara-Chanderpaul or Lara-Adams or Lara-Richardson partnerships survive. Even among losses the few draws or fewer wins brought so much pleasure worth of sleepless nights. Those were the days before BD got test status, cricket was "WIndies Forever" all the way for me.
Thank you very much bro,I am glad to hear about your support for the Windies. It is appreciated Personally, I like the Lara-Sarwan, Lara-Chanderppaul partnerships.
Ambrose and Walsh were something else...glad that West Indies was the team u were supporting prior tO BD's test status.

Cricket wins all the time.
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  #9  
Old March 19, 2016, 05:35 PM
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bujhee kom bujhee kom is offline
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Simply beautiful. I am speechless, dearest Aklemalp.
You have a genuinely beautiful mind and are a gifted story-teller.

-bk/zaved
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  #10  
Old March 19, 2016, 05:52 PM
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aklemalp aklemalp is offline
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Originally Posted by bujhee kom
Simply beautiful. I am speechless, dearest Aklemalp.
You have a genuinely beautiful mind and are a gifted story-teller.

-bk/zaved
Thank you for always being warm and welcoming Big BRO BK
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  #11  
Old March 19, 2016, 06:25 PM
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Tiger Manc Tiger Manc is offline
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That was a good read aklemalp. Really enjoyed it.
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  #12  
Old March 19, 2016, 06:30 PM
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aklemalp aklemalp is offline
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That was a good read aklemalp. Really enjoyed it.
Glad u enjoyed bro...we need light in these dark times...inspiration
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  #13  
Old March 19, 2016, 06:34 PM
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bujhee kom bujhee kom is offline
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Dear Admin bhaiyas,

Front Page, please!
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  #14  
Old March 19, 2016, 06:43 PM
MohammedShamim MohammedShamim is offline
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Very nice Aklemalp. BTW are you batting or bowling in that picture?
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  #15  
Old March 19, 2016, 06:51 PM
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aklemalp aklemalp is offline
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Very nice Aklemalp. BTW are you batting or bowling in that picture?
Thanks Shamim bro...I'm not in the picture. It's a random picture, but that is exactly the way we used to play in the street. Just a depiction.
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  #16  
Old March 19, 2016, 08:01 PM
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Anher Anher is offline
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your story brings broad happy smile in my face. Glad to have you here brother.
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  #17  
Old March 19, 2016, 08:24 PM
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Nice. I like it. Thank you for the thread.
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  #18  
Old March 19, 2016, 08:44 PM
tejkuni tejkuni is offline
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How wonderful to read an article like this. Thanks a lot.
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  #19  
Old March 19, 2016, 11:02 PM
Zunaid Zunaid is offline
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Now a front page article:

My Story: A Unique Style Of Support
Parmanand Singh


A fan born in the Caribbean shares his fervent love and passion for the Bangladesh Tigers. "....My first memory of cricket was when I was a mere toddler. Barely able to hold the ‘pre-made’ bat that my father made from a coconut tree branch, he would bowl a tennis ball under-arm to me and I would try my best to hit it; failing many times to make a connection...."


Read article »
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  #20  
Old March 19, 2016, 11:04 PM
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Night_wolf Night_wolf is offline
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finally aklemalp's identity revealed, great article Singh ji
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  #21  
Old March 20, 2016, 07:57 AM
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aklemalp aklemalp is offline
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Originally Posted by Night_wolf
finally aklemalp's identity revealed, great article Singh ji
Thanks bro Night_wolf. Not fully revealed. .lol
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  #22  
Old March 19, 2016, 11:10 PM
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Zeeshan Zeeshan is offline
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Excellent article. Part nostalgia, part success story.
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  #23  
Old March 19, 2016, 11:42 PM
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22Yards 22Yards is offline
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As I kept reading, I grew more curious of your own life rather than the point you are trying to project. Good read nevertheless.
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  #24  
Old March 20, 2016, 07:58 AM
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aklemalp aklemalp is offline
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Originally Posted by 22Yards
As I kept reading, I grew more curious of your own life rather than the point you are trying to project. Good read nevertheless.
I have to say that it is incomplete...still going on...thanks for reading bro 22yards.
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  #25  
Old March 20, 2016, 12:12 AM
WarWolf WarWolf is offline
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Great story mate.
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