Saturday, December 15, 2018
Updated: Wednesday, March 10, 2004
Baptism of Fire

Masum Billah
The red flashes out of the green. The veins on your neck pulsate and throb as if to pop open. Your voice box just opens up with bursts of phones even you are not familiar with. The adrenaline rushes through your brain cells just like the fire off Ashraful's bat. Your lungs are flush with oxygen as you see Tarek Aziz crushes the last hope out of the Zimbabwean response. So, this is victory feels like then! Surely, If Zimbabwe was the winner of this match, the Zimbabweans would not celebrate it this way.

Five whole years of sweat & blood, long toiling hours, grueling trainings, the controversies, the press conferences, the sad returns, the sleepless nights, the shuffles at the top order, shuffle at the middle, shuffle at the bottom, and, all the failures. All of it now seems to sound like the drum roll before the big moment. The defining moment, that gives all reasons to the seeming madness.

It is time to congratulate you, Bangladesh. We feel greatly honored at the opportunity. You have indeed achieved much at your young age. You have remained tenacious through despair and defeats. You have now taken the firm step towards a higher goal. Hats off to our cricketers, to our management, our organizers and our fans. This moment touches the hearts of all Bangladeshis. This moment inspires all of us to try harder, and to do better in our own affairs.

As for the victory, it came at a time when the expectations were low. However, many of us fans had sensed it was a ripe time for it. The youngsters inspired us with a great performance just last week. The senior team in general is better balanced now. When all came together, with the urge for winning just wanting to muscle out into the open, on a bright day, on that green turf out there in Harare, that "anything" just happened. It's not the beating of Zimbabwe, it's the slaying of the dragon called defeat.

It is time to consolidate. It is time to hone in on the next task. It is time to set our eyes on the next target, time to turn this positive spark of energy towards winning this series. This new beginning for us is on solid grounds. This is not a fluke, no chance of a match-fixing allegation here. Let this be the true stepping stone for destroying that defeatist mindset. Let the colors fly high and proud. Let's have our feet firmly settled on the ground. Forward!