Sunday, December 16, 2018
Updated: Wednesday, May 19, 2004
Following the game

Mahmudul Huq Khan
As the current Bangladesh away series to the West Indies gets under way, I was thinking about how quickly we are getting responses to our questions via the Internet. I just got a response from Canada and Japan to my question about the availability of audio commentary for the tour. The BanglaCricket forum has people from Bangladesh and from so many other places who are all avidly following the game. Only the other day, chinaman helped me change the settings on my Media player. What's next!?

For someone like me, this may be the only way of following the game that I love so much. When I was very young, I was obviously playing the game more than just following it. I used to see my father listening to cricket commentaries at different times of day and night. Very soon, I inherited his interest. Perhaps, I was genetically predisposed towards loving this game. In my over enthusiasn, I would sometimes try to get a clearer reception on the radio and would fiddle with the dial. Guess what? I would often lose the station and would have to avoid my dad?s eyes.

I still remember those commentaries from England, Australia and New Zealand. Those stations were not that powerful, and sometimes we ended up having to listen to some Chinese program at the same time, probably because they were on the same metre on the short wave band. But, I do recall those days so very fondly, even now. When I started to understand the game a little bit more, my dad would take me to the Dhaka stadium to watch cricket (and football) matches.

I was given my own radio and I could fiddle with it as much as I wanted. Live telecasts were not available until I was at university. The next period of my life, when I came to this country (USA) to do my Ph.D, was the hardest, . I am not making this up, but I used to go to the library mainly to search for newspapers that were perhaps 7 to 14 days old to get news of cricket. I would read newspapers from Britain, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. While I never lost touch with cricket news, I was maybe a few days behind rest of the cricketing world. There were hardly any Bangladeshi friends who wanted to talk about cricket, let alone Bangladeshi cricket. To be frank, Bangladesh cricket was not doing too great either.

In between, I had gone back to Bangladesh for a few years and noted that some people could watch cricket if Doordarshan telecasted it. I think a special type of antenna was needed and it had to be pointed in just the right direction. One such opportunity was available at my in-laws? place. I was happy and so was my wife, with my frequent visits to my in-laws. A few years later, came the cable operators and now it is so easy to watch cricket all day long. I used to tell my friends that if I were growing up now, I would not be where I am today, because I would have been watching cricket all day long. I am so glad that my dad can enjoy the game on TV after his retirement. One time, he was at a clinic in Dhaka and there was a TV in his room. He was very sick and a little disoriented but he was still watching cricket. I felt so bad when he said he was not able to follow the game properly. I knew the intricacies of the game did not register in his brain any longer.

I was not planning to write all of this. But, I can truly say that I still enjoy the game as much as I used to so many years ago. Following the game has become much more interesting. Of course, even on the Internet, at first all we had were text scores only, and then came audio and finally video. And now, to top it all, we can discuss the game while it is taking place. As I always say, this last part is due to the wonderful people on this board. Thanks to ALL.