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Flashback through Alphabets: Bangladesh Cricket in 2007 (2007)
Bangladesh Cricket in 2006: A-Z (2007)

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As it is the time of the year, the author weighs in on the landmark events of 2006. Alphabetically.

Bangladesh Cricket in 2006: A-Z

Published: 9th January, 2007


A just as usual, stands for Ashraful and Aftab. Apparently, an underperforming Ashraful is losing his glory, while Aftab is improving by leaps and bounds. However, good start followed by a bad end just for throwing wicket is a bad feature of the youngest number three batsman. Definitely, Aftab will therefore have to rectify that error to establish himself as a dependable batsman at that position.

Mashrafe Mortaza and Aftab Ahmed after the historic win of Bangladesh vs Sri Lanka at Bogra

Bstands for Bogra. It is the place where the Tigers registered the maiden win against Sri Lanka. After our bowlers choked the Sri Lankan batsmen by restricting them for a meager 212, Ashraful, Javed, Bashar, and Aftab batted decently to clinch the historic win.

C stands for consistency. For the first time in our cricket history, 2006 was the year when our cricketers have performed to their potential regularly. Eighteen wins out of twenty eight One Day Internationals (ODIs), eight wins in a row, couple of five wicket hauls, stream of centuries and half- centuries from the batsmen- what else do you want to prove consistency?

D refers to Dav Whatmore. At the beginning of his tenure with the Bangladesh team, he promised to be honest with his job. I think he has already proved it to a great extent. The rest is to be proved in the World Cup 2007, because if he does not renew his contract with us, that will be the last assignment of his tenure with us. Dav has already emerged as a winner in the arena of Bangladesh cricket, and if he wants to solidify that tag, Bangladesh will have to have a place at the Super Eight stage. I sincerely believe that a consolation win against Bermuda will not be enough to fulfill that job, because certainly this win will not satisfy the great coach, let alone the fans.

E is for emerging Players. In 2006, we have witnessed the emergence of many talented but consistent performers like Sakib Al-Hasan and Mehrab Hossain Junior. Unlike Ashraful and Alok, these lads seem to be more responsible and success hungry - which is of course a good sign.

F reminds us of Fatullah, where Bangladesh had every chance to produce the greatest upset in the history of cricket. Sadly, the Bangladesh players failed to be a little bit braver to strangle the proud ‘invincible’ of the cricket world. And thus, the story therefore ended like: ‘So near, yet so far’.

G refers to Golla, which has two meanings. First meaning: Javed Omer started the year well, but lost his way at the middle. And now he has a very little chance to make his come back in the national team. Second meaning: from our recent performance, it seems that our Golla days in cricket are on the verge of extinction.

Shahadat Hossain after his hattrick against Zimbabwe

H reminds us of the hattrick. Fast rising pace bowler Shahadat Hossain Rajib had his name in the elite club of ODI hattrick achievers when he grabbed the wickets of Zimbabwe’s Tafadzwa Mufambisi, Elton Chigumbra, and Prosper Utseya. Unfortunately, a day of celebration ended as a day of agony as Bangladesh lost the match to Zimbabwe, thanks to Mashrafe Mortaza’s concession of 18 runs in the final over.

I stands for ICC Champions Trophy. ICC Champions Trophy was not a fabulous success for Bangladesh, but comparing our performance in the previous outings, this was much better. Most importantly, we posted our highest total against the Sri Lankans, and we registered our first victory in the Mini World Cup by beating Zimbabwe in the last honor-sharing match.

J is for Jason Gillespie. This Australian has probably taken the revenge of the dashing six which Aftab Ahmed hit off his ball at Cardiff, and went on to post the highest ever score by a night watchman.

K could refer to either Khaled Mahmud or Khaled Mashud - it’s up to you. Khaled Mahmud retired from the all international cricket early 2006 after his defiant and heroic honor saving innings in the first ODI against the Sri Lankan Lions. On the other hand, emergences of good wicket-keeper batsmen have already rocked the position of our veteran wicketkeeper Khaled Mashud Pilot in the national team.

L is for left arm spinners' (SLA) revolution. Because of the presence of world class and shrewd SLA bowlers like Mohammad Rafique in the team, Bangladesh were always strong in SLA attack. But the likes of Abdur Razzaq, Sakib Al-Hasan, and Mehrab Hossain Junior has further bolstered this special department of our bowling.

M stands for Mashrafe bin Mortaza. 2006 was a year of ups and downs for the Narail Express. Of course, failure to hold the catch of Ricky Ponting and the concession of 18 runs in the final over are some things that Mortaza will never forget, but at the end he reached the ODI landmark of highest wicket taker in ODI in 2006 with 49 scalps. So, as long as we believe, “All’s well that ends well”, lets forget what happened in the past.

N is for Nimbus Treaty. Undoubtedly, it will be a boon for Bangladesh cricket if we can spend this huge amount of money properly to develop cricket in Bangladesh.

Shahriar Nafees after his maiden ton against Zimbabwe in Champions Trophy

O can stand for one thousand or one hundred- take your pick. In 2006, four of our players, namely Shahriar Nafees, Aftab Ahmed, Mohammad Rafique, and Rajin Saleh have completed one thousand ODI runs in their respective careers. On the other hand Mohammad Rafique has taken 100 ODI wickets, while Shahriar Nafees has scored three consecutive centuries.

P reminds us of the past. What we have achieved in the year 2006, right at the moment, is nothing but past incidents that have already gone in the pages of our sweet memory. Therefore, nothing will be more miserable and heart-breaking if we fail to build more on what we have already built. That is, Bangladesh cricket should take inspiration and encouragement from our convincing wins against low-ranked teams like us and march forward by beating stronger oppositions.

Q is for Qazi Habibul Bashar. He is the most successful captain of Bangladesh cricket as he has the most wins under his belt.

Abdur Razzak celebrates after dismissing Adam Gilchrist at Chittagong

R is for Razzaq Raz. Throughout 2006, he was superb in a word. Like Ashraful, none will have to advocate for him, because he has the performance to speak for himself.

S is for Shahriar Nafees. Simply he was the hero in 2006. The thousand run scorer in a calendar year has already proved as the greatest opening batsmen of Bangladesh. However, like all other emerging stars, he has a long way to go.

T stands for Twenty20. We have played our debut Twenty20 international this year and won the match. This is just the beginning, and millions of fans now eagerly want our boys to carry that form into the Twenty20 World Cup, which is scheduled to be played in the next year.

U stands for underdog. In complete agreement with Rabeed Imam’s nomenclature of his article “Still Mixing with Minnows”, I think we will have that label hanging around our neck until we start beating quality oppositions.

V is for vengeance (another word for revenge). As expected, the Tigers were ready to take Zimbabwe after our series loss in the Zimbabwean soil, and the outcome of that series undoubtedly highlighted their sense of vengeance.

Bangladeshi players celebrate series win vs Kenya

W can stand for either WhiteWash or TigerWash - whatever you like. Before 2006, we were a nation who had to experience the horror of this abusive word very frequently. With hard work, firm determination, hunger for success of individual players, the proper captaincy of Habibul Bashar, and the guidance of Dav Whatmore, Tigers have finally forced the fortune to look upon them. Within a single year, we have completed four whitewashes, and despite the quality of the opposition, this is unquestionably an incredible achievement of Bangladesh cricket.

X like Andrew Miller, is taken as a sign of omission. In the course of Bangladesh cricket in 2006, this is applicable to the omission of Mohammad Ashraful from national squad prior to Zimbabwe home series - an event that sparked great controversy in the media. However, two big centuries from Mohammad Ashraful in the domestic league along with the media pressure compelled the selectors to reverse their decision, and eventually to erase that X (cross) mark.

Bangladesh U-19 batsmen walking tall after beating the defending champion Pakistan U-19 team

Y is for Youth World Cup. In that World Cup, our young U-19 started in a style, and after beating a strong Pakistan side, we were in a commendable position. But in the second round of the tournament, the dream of Mushfiqur and Co. was finally crushed by a relatively weaker England.

Z reminds us of Zimbabwe- our regular opponent in 2006.

Courtesy: TheWatchar of BanglaCricket has contributed the ideas for Q and Y.


About the author(s): Mahmudul Alam is a young aggie from Qatar and a great fan of Bangladesh cricket. Yes, an aggie from Qatar. He is in the undergraduate program in EE at the Texas A & M University at Qatar. This university is a branch campus of the Texas A & M University at College Station, Texas, USA. He is known in the forums as BD-Shardul.


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