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Old January 19, 2005, 11:52 AM
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Default A heart-warming result

Here I bring something for you who missed them:

Saturday January 15, 2005
A heart-warming result

Even as the second and final match gets under way in Dhaka, it is perfectly understandable that Bangladesh are still celebrating their maiden Test victory. The result at Chittagong may have come four days ago but after four years and 34 matches -- most ending in humiliating defeat -- of trying to buck the odds, the Tigers finally put that long-awaited tick in the positives column and did so in convincing fashion.
Just to put this in perspective, India waited 20 years and 25 matches before winning their first Test -- including the days they fielded a team from the undivided sub-continent. New Zealand took even longer, their maiden win coming after having played as many as 44 Tests -- and look where they are today.
A first Test win always marks a watershed in the cricketing development in a country and the International Cricket Council can now breathe a quiet sigh of relief. They, as much as the Bangladeshis, have been pilloried right from the day the country received full Test status back in 2004. And while the opposition may be Zimbabwe -- and a weakened, riven Zimbabwe at that -- the match still had to be won, which Habibul Basher's men did in fine style.
Bangladesh in fact owe a great deal to three players who have been there virtually from the beginning in 2000. Other than the skipper, left-arm spinner and batsman Mohammed Rafique and wicketkeeper Khaled Mashud form a core around which Bangladesh have built the present team. The emergence of a young and talented second rung in the form of batsmen Mohammed Ashraful and Rajin Saleh, seaming all-rounder Mashrafe Mortaza and left-arm spinner Enamul Haq have brought a new verve and Úlan to the team and one looks forward with interest to better things to come. With the wily Dav Whatmore's hand on the tiller, the Tigers will want to go on to bigger and better things.
Little wonder therefore that the two men in charge -- Bashar and Whatmore -- sounded a little overwhelmed after the red letter day at Chittagong. "It's the best day in my life. I won't forget the day I was a member of Bangladesh's winning team. I don't want to remember those hard days, I only want to think about the victory," said Bashar.
For Whatmore, the win provided some much-needed relief both for his squad as much as the Bangladeshi supporters. "You can see the joy and the relief of lots of other people," he said. "We've taken our share of hammerings in the last year and a half and, putting this win in perspective, there's probably a few more down the track. But I sense there's a bit more self-belief when they come to play tougher opposition."
Self-belief truly will be the key in Bangladesh's progress from now on. In the younger men in the side, they have the kind of brashness so necessary in such situations. In the seniors and the coach, they have wise heads. It provides for an interesting cocktail and coming as they do from a part of the world where talent rules over performance -- witness the sort of roller-coaster ride India and Pakistan throw up so frequently for their fans -- almost anything becomes possible.
Two years ago, Bangladesh came agonisingly close to beating a full Test team at Multan where it needed a Herculean effort from Inzamam-ul Haq to deny them. Other than that, the Tigers had three draws in their previous 34 Tests -- two against Zimbabwe and one against the West Indies -- but having crossed the rubicon, so to day, one awaits their future progress with some interest.

Published : January 15, 2005

Saturday January 15, 2005
Cricket takes a happy toll

By Ravi Shastri
India (espnstar.com)- Bangladesh was understandably overjoyed after winning their first-ever Test match. It is easy to belittle this achievement since it came against Zimbabwe, the other minnow of international cricket, but that is looking at the issue uncharitably. Most teams playing now have begun falteringly; if anything, Bangladesh have recorded their first Test win in quicker time than many.
Coming as this does in the wake of the one-day victory over India in December, Bangladesh cricket is on a high. But they must build from here quickly and in a focused manner. I have always maintained that there is a wealth of young talent in the country that somehow does not reach fruition at the senior level. How to nurture this talent is the big task for the Bangladesh administrators.

Published : January 15, 2005
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Old January 19, 2005, 11:59 AM
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AsifTheManRahman AsifTheManRahman is offline
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Bangladesh got the test status in 2000 and not 2004
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Old January 19, 2005, 12:26 PM
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This is probably a typo mistake.
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