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  #1  
Old November 22, 2008, 01:35 PM
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Default Life of Tigers’ Fans in a Foreign Land

I was asked to write a piece on this topic by Rabeed Imam for the official souvenir of "New Zealand tour of Bangladesh 2008". It's nothing but what's happening everyday here at BanglaCricket and in our daily life. I hope you will enjoy it. The first paragraph might look familiar, but I could not exclude it.


Life of Tigers’ Fans in a Foreign Land
Khondaker Mirazur Rahman

27 May 2007, Bangladesh were in tatters on 10/3 in the second innings of second Test against India; still needing 488 runs to avoid an innings defeat. Mohammad Ashraful slowly walked to the crease amid deathly silence. He launched a scathing counter-attack; suddenly the quiet crowd burst into roars and Ashraful stormed to a 26 ball 50, the fastest fifty in Test cricket in terms of minutes and Viv Richards' 56 ball hundred against England in 1986 looked under threat. Veteran Indian spinner Anil Kumble kept it simple and reaped the benefit in his 2nd over. Ashraful tried to hit Kumble out of the park, but his ambitious shot could only reach as far as Tendulkar at midwicket. He departed after a blitzkrieg 41 ball 67. At that point, Bangladesh were still trailing by 401 runs. Ashraful’s innings symbolizes Bangladesh in world cricket; young, reckless, but entertaining, the brand of cricket which millions of Tigers fans follow despite countless failures.

It can be difficult for neutrals to follow a cricket team which is continuously struggling at international level, but Bangladesh name has got such a magic that Tigers fans living in different corners of the globe follow every step of their boys with religious regularity. Moreover, when anyone decides to take a self-enforced hibernation after a series of poor performances, they produce a monumental performance to get their fans completely behind the team. Almost nobody doubts the talent and ability of the Tigers to thrill the crowd with audacious stroke play, but seemingly lack of responsibility always raise eye-brows from cricket followers. This is why an avid follower of Bangladesh cricket has a lot to talk about, with friends of other cricket loving countries and on BanglaCricket, Tigers’ fans online cricket forum. The passionate analysis of “why we are failing despite all these talents and supports” is almost never ending.

The moment for Tigers’ fans came in World Cup 2007 when the young Tigers roared in front of the world and stormed to the second round defeating pre-tournament favorite India. It was not only an emotional day but also a day when the fans got recognition from the vast majority of cricket fans of different countries. In defeats they face stinging criticism on different online forums and try to defend their boys, but wins like Trinidad, Cardiff or Guyana gives them the opportunity to express their passion and they could see the respect in opponents’ eyes. Not a single fan will be willing to trade this respect for even $10 m.

After shattering defeats in a tour, whenever a new series comes up, it gives an opportunity to rejuvenate the hope and the fans start to analyze the possible route of success. It starts with the team selection and culminates with the performance analysis, all on BanglaCricket.

The enthusiastic fans propose the squad in the build-up to the tour well ahead of the official selection by the national selectors. Unlike selectors, they provide detailed justification of every inclusions and exclusions. The squad selection is followed by the potential playing XI selection with the proposed batting order and bowling duties. Heated discussions, points, counter-points are made until the official selection is made public. Once the official squad is out, the tone of discussion changes and they start critically reviewing the squad, its potential strengths and weaknesses and the best combination possible to get the positive results. In a foreign land where internet is readily accessible, these discussions become the main leisure activities, in some cases more than leisure activities.

Immediately before the start of the series, attention turns into finding a broadcaster who will televise the match in the respected area of the world. Most TV channels of countries where cricket isn’t a main sport have hardly any interest in broadcasting cricket. Bangladesh’s relatively low stature in international cricket makes it an unattractive option even in the cricket loving countries. Facing the hard reality of the commercial TV market, the fans try to find out a suitable website which will stream the matches. Despite losing hard earned money numerous times they have no other option but to rely on these high risk websites to watch their beloved Tigers in action. Once anyone gets hold of any website which will stream the games using different P2P (peer-to-peer) streaming softwares, the link is distributed among fans residing in different countries using the online fan site BanglaCricket like a hotcake. It’s probably more lucrative than passing a romantic evening with someone special!!

After sorting out the ways to watch the series either on satellite TV or streaming websites, the next challenge is to arrange leave from work/study on match days. It’s fantastic when the matches are started in the evening after work/study, the only problem is they have to turn up at work/university next morning with sleepy eyes. Otherwise Tigers’ fans, many of whom are students, change working shifts, course schedule, take leaves to match the match itinerary. The struggle to find suitable shifts, convincing colleagues, line managers and course tutors is something which can’t be explained in words. Finally when it is done, it feels wonderful. As the Tigers are now playing a good number of international matches, it is becoming increasingly difficult to follow every match, especially Test matches. At first arrangements are made to cover the ODI matches and sincere attempts are made to see Tigers in action in Test matches. Another major concern is the timing of the matches as the matches are played in different countries and in different time zones.

It can be quite hard to justify the level of passion and enthusiasm among the Tigers’ fans living in foreign land if we look at Bangladesh’s success rate at international cricket. Tigers probably serve as the invisible bond between these fans and Bangladesh, the country they desperately miss. A major group of Tigers’ fans living abroad are second generation ex-patriot Bangladeshis and many of them have never been to Bangladesh. Bangladesh being a silent country in global socio-economical setting, it’s only the Tigers who remind them of the lovely country and they get united from different parts of the world and support the young Tigers in one voice.

The fans pass sleepless nights one after another just to see Tigers trying their best to compete at the international level. When the attempt to take leave or arrange alternate shifts fails, eyes remain glued to the subscribed streaming websites, on BanglaCricket, TigerCricket and on Cricinfo at the workplace or university. They have developed a very efficient way to juggle between work and passion, which is following the Tigers, and depending on the match situation one gets the priority over the other.

Every match comes with a new hope. There is nothing better in the world to watch Tigers’ giant killing action live. On most occasions the match ends with a broken heart and the fans are left to rue the mistakes which the Tigers are repeating tirelessly. Friends, colleagues at workplace and family members at home easily find out “it’s another day with the same outcome”. The fans try to stand behind their young boys with a sheepish smile and wait for a change in fortune. The most amazing thing is the reactions of the fans after even the biggest loss. While some remain critical about the poor performance of the Tigers, others start to devise strategies to overcome the defeats and turn the table around despite knowing that these strategies will never reach the drawing board of the actual team management. And then the passionate wait for the next match which on most cases results in another heartbreak but the passion never dies out.

Finally, when one of those days comes, everything goes perfectly for the Tigers and they come out on top at the end day, every defeat is the past is forgotten for the time being. The fans scream out loud in joy and everyone at workplace knows they have achieved something. This time they shake their heads in disbelief to see the level of celebration by the Tigers fans who were hungry for a long time. The fans continue to weave their dream, they know deep in their heart, the Tigers will overcome one day!! They will win over the doubters and become a major force of the cricket world.
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Last edited by Miraz; November 22, 2008 at 01:47 PM..
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  #2  
Old November 22, 2008, 01:44 PM
MohammedC MohammedC is offline
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Excellent. Enjoyed every single word of it. Thanks for sharing with all of us.
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  #3  
Old November 22, 2008, 01:47 PM
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Miraz bhai this is absolutley superb, what a great piece of article, really!
it almost felt like i was reading a biography of myself. it's stuff like these that are a great catalyst in keeping the sipirit up of bd fans, despite all the failures. thanx for this

oh another thing BanglaCticket isnt just a "workplace or university" for me...it home
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  #4  
Old November 22, 2008, 01:48 PM
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Wonderfully written and very true. Bravo Miraz bhai!
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  #5  
Old November 22, 2008, 02:17 PM
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হায় রে, আমরা কত বড় লুজার
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  #6  
Old November 22, 2008, 02:20 PM
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Great article Miraz bhai. I hope you don't get angry with this criticism from a 15 year old, but the ending sounded a tad cheesy to me. Anyways, it was a great article! I wish I could write like you.
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  #7  
Old November 22, 2008, 02:25 PM
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Great article Miraz vai.
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  #8  
Old November 22, 2008, 03:25 PM
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so beautiful miraz bhaiya, thank you!
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  #9  
Old November 22, 2008, 03:25 PM
abz_786 abz_786 is offline
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Nice one miraz bai
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  #10  
Old November 22, 2008, 04:21 PM
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Fantastic Miraz bhai
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Old November 22, 2008, 05:05 PM
BD-Shardul BD-Shardul is offline
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Incredible piece. Perfectly summarizes the feelings of obhaigga tiger fans living abroad.
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  #12  
Old November 22, 2008, 05:51 PM
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Thanks to everyone for your kind comments. Your words are my inspirations.

ro1249, I hope one day you will be a much better writer than me.
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  #13  
Old November 22, 2008, 05:53 PM
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Hopefully cricinfo will pick this up.
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  #14  
Old November 22, 2008, 08:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AsifTheManRahman
Hopefully cricinfo will pick this up.
How about the Daily Star? Or, BBC?

Nice read.
Emotional and entertaining!

Well done once again, Miraz Bhai.
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  #15  
Old November 22, 2008, 09:48 PM
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That was once again a legendary article !

Thank you miraz bhaiya!
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  #16  
Old November 22, 2008, 10:47 PM
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miraz bhai, kindly please also write one "death of a miserable tiger's fan by suicide"!
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  #17  
Old November 22, 2008, 11:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Miraz
Once anyone gets hold of any website which will stream the games using different P2P (peer-to-peer) streaming softwares, the link is distributed among fans residing in different countries using the online fan site BanglaCricket like a hotcake. It’s probably more lucrative than passing a romantic evening with someone special!!

accha?
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  #18  
Old November 22, 2008, 11:34 PM
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"Valoi dia galen"
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  #19  
Old November 23, 2008, 12:23 AM
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magnifico...thank u miraz bhai..
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Old November 23, 2008, 03:09 AM
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Miraz channeling US Nice read.
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  #21  
Old November 23, 2008, 03:34 AM
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Superb Article Miraz.
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  #22  
Old November 23, 2008, 05:02 AM
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Great article Miraz bhai, keep it up!!!
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  #23  
Old November 23, 2008, 06:01 AM
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Great one Miraz bhai.
It should be posted in any of our Daily Newspaper. Not everyone here knows about fans in foreign land and how passionately they follow the game. This information should be shared through any of the dailies i think
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  #24  
Old November 23, 2008, 06:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yaseer
Great one Miraz bhai.
It should be posted in any of our Daily Newspaper. Not everyone here knows about fans in foreign land and how passionately
they follow the game. This information should be shared through any of the dailies i think
Yaseer Bhai, I'm really dissapointed after noticing that even our tigers don't realize how passionate we are about our cricket culture.
Really Sad...


http://www.jugantor.com/online/conte...3/news0614.htm
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Last edited by desirocker; November 23, 2008 at 12:35 PM..
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  #25  
Old November 23, 2008, 06:25 AM
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Inspirational article Miraz, relevant to me as well!
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