Thursday, March 21, 2019
Updated: Tuesday, May 24, 2005
A night with the Bangladesh Team

Shameran Abed
Mohammed Rafique

I was fortunate enough to be invited to the Reception given in honour of the Bangladesh Cricket Team by the Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, at City Hall this evening. Having just returned from the above mentioned event, I can happily report that our entire team is fit, well and generally looking upbeat. Habibul Bashar is still fielding a nasty black gash on his forehead, but is absolutely fine and good to go.

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The event was a wonderful way to celebrate the team's week in London, which culminates in a Test Match at Lord's starting Thursday. Apart from the Mayor himself, others who spoke at the function included the Bangladeshi High Commissioner to the UK, Mr Mofazzal Karim, the British High Commissioner to Bangladesh, Mr Anwar Chowdhury, Robin Marlar of the MCC, the President of the Bangladesh Cricket Board, Mr Ali Asghar Lobi MP and the Chief Executive of the England and Wales Cricket Board.

Nasser Hussain
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Former England captain Nasser Hussain was entrusted with the welcome address to our team, and I thought he spoke very well. He reminded the guests that not too long ago and under his captaincy, England were at the bottom of the pile in Test cricket and therefore had little right to question Bangladesh's Test status. He spoke of Sri Lanka's first Test at Lord's in 1984, when after the England captain won the toss and put them in with the hopes of bowling them out cheaply, the Sri Lankans 'put the English bowlers to the sword' with Wettimuny and Mendis scoring hundreds in the first innings and Amal Silva scoring a hundred in the second. 'They stayed on and batted when the light was finally offered to them, they found the English bowling so mediocre,' Hussain said. He charged our players to rise to the occasion at Lord's, telling them that if they need an incentive, they ought to take a long look at the board in the visitors' dressing room to see the calibre of cricketers who have their names on it. 'Try to score a hundred or take five wickets and get your names up on that board alongside theirs,' he said.