For Bangladesh cricket, an era of upheaval has begun in the last couple of months. It all started with the impressive win of Bangladesh U-19 team over Australia in the plate final. Then came the much-awaited ODI win over Zimbabwe from the seniors, followed by two more fantastic close matches. Now, our A team has just bagged 2 back-to-back series against another test playing nation's A team. This is another milestone for our cricket. We never won a series before. We've been enjoying a relatively good time in following our teams. Now we are even dreaming of snatching a win against the legendary West Indians in the upcoming series.
India is finally playing cricket with Pakistan. A few years ago, the avid followers of the game were upset with the Indian sports minister Uma Bharti's stern stance on no cricket with Pakistan. They argued that this ban would damage cricket in both countries. Well, if nothing else, the coveted series between these two opponents has definitely enriched cricket itself. We've enjoyed a tremendous ODI series. Records are being made and broken all over the place. In the long run this series is readily boosting the level of cricket in the whole region. Cricket fever has a tight grip on the subcontinent at the moment.
So, what else happened in these recent news-rich weeks? The list is full of "first-ver", "best" "best-ever" and even "worst"s. A look of other significant events that packed the cricket logbook in the last couple of months:
- Bangladesh hosted the most successful U-19 cricket world cup ever.
- Shane Warne and Muralitharan both crossed the 500 wicket mark in test cricket.
- Shewag set a new milestone with a first-ever triple ton by an Indian. The first innings Indian score of 675 was also the highest ever against Pakistan. Shewag also helped set the highest 3rd wicket Indian partnership record.
- New record has been set on highest aggregate runs scored in an ODI - 693 runs(India vs Pak, 1st ODI). As a matter of fact, the first 4 matches of the ODI were so exciting that the decider, despite being a competitive match, looked somewhat anti-climactic.
- West Indies dropped a home series to England for the first time in 36 years.
- India won their first Test on Pak soil in the 52 years of their cricket history.
- New Zealand won the first-ever home test match against South Africa.
- West Indies were all out for their lowest ever test score of 47 runs against England (2nd innings, 1st test, Kingston, Jamaica)
- Lara just tied Donald Bradman's record of 2 triple test tons in the last test of the series.
Other notable mentions are: Bangladesh' finding a number of promising, quality players for our national sides. Suddenly, we have some choices. Our Dav Whatmore has just turned the fifty young last month. Of the not so good news were Heath Streak's resignation or sacking as Zimbabwean captain, and the ensuing turmoil in Zimbabwe cricket. Also negative was the Rafique incident for Bangladesh in Zimbabwe.
This is high time for cricket fans. Thanks to the relative successes of Bangladeshi teams, this is a special exciting time for us. The sporadic bright spots are extra sweet in the pioneering years of our young cricket history. Surely as years go by, we will get used to routine victories against weaker opponents. We would also be assured of some level of consistency in our appearances. At present, however, every game is a coin toss for us. On a day when all of our chips fall right, anything can happen. Considering the drama unfolding in the international arena in the last few weeks, I say, enjoy the magic, people. Best wishes for our boys and Viva la cricket!