is for both Ashraful and Aftab. If and when the cart called
consistency catches up to the carrot of their promise, the
Tigers will become a team to be reckoned with.
B is for BCB (Bangladesh
Cricket Board). Somehow, even as it operates in a corrupt
part of the world and has a parent organization (ICC) that
itself sees only green, our keepers of the game have managed
to bring consistency to team selection, held on to their
most expensive employee and improved the overall cricketing
infrastructure of Bangladesh. The epitome of professionalism
it may not be, but one has to only look at Kenya, Zimbabwe
or even the Indian boards to realize that it could have
done much, much worse.
is for Cardiff where on one glorious English summer day,
the Tigers pulled the mother of all upsets, beating Australia
in a NatWest trophy game. It was only an ODI and Bangladesh
soon reverted to form thereafter, but was there a single
BD fan, nay Cricket Fan whose heart did not fill with joy
as Ashraful plundered one hundred runs and Aftab?s
mighty blow off Dizzy sailed over the boundary for a six.
David once again smote Goliath.
D is for Debutants. Rasel,
Shahriar, Shahadat and Mushfique were the only debutants
this year and none has looked out of place on the big stage.
It?s that damnable consistency in team selection rearing
its head again. That and the U-19 pipeline we seem to be
is for Eddie Barlowe. Eddie passed away after a long illness
December 30, 2005. He was appointed Bangladesh coach in
1999 after Gordon Greenidge?s ouster and did a fabulous
job of preparing the Test babes for their maiden venture;
a 400+ 1st innings will attest to that. However, a stroke
in 2000 left him paralyzed and cut short his stint in Bangladesh.
Eddie was a great coach and a true supporter of Bangladesh
cricket. May he rest in peace.
F is for Fans. Through thick
and thin, mostly thin at that, and we are talking silicon
wafers here, we have continued to love our team and follow
it, like true fanatics.
G is for Golla, Javed Omar
Belim Golla. Much maligned by fans and equally loved by
the stroke happys cabal that constitutes the rest of our
batting line up.
H is for Habibul Bashar.
Love him, hate him, he?s still the best we got ?
by some distance. And a true gentleman on the field too.
I is for India and the irresponsible
excuses their Board seem to come up with to not host Bangladesh.
Look up myopic in the dictionary and you might just find
a certain S. Pawar turning up!
is for Junior. Enamul Haque Jr. to be exact, though his
nascent stats suggest he should be Moni-mia?s senior
daddy. As in ?who?s your SLA daddy??
K is for Khaled Mashud.
Along with Bashar, he is the kandari that keeps the BD ship
going towards the general direction of betterment.
L is for Luck. Never hurts
to have it ? especially when facing ICC ?neutral?
M is for Mashrafe. Boy he
could use some of that L!
N is for Naf(i|ee)s. In
one shot we can cover both Shahriar Nafis and Nafees Iqbal
both of whom played significant roles in our highlight reels
for the year. Nafis guaranteed our first Test series victory
with his dogged 470 minute century at Chittagong. Shahriar
graduated to the big leagues and stamped his arrival with
a 75 versus the Aussies and a maiden Test half century during
our sorry tour to Lanka. Have we reached the end of our
holy quest for that consistent opener to partner Golla?
O is for Outrageous shot
selections. Messrs Harmison and McGrath may be called upon
as prosecution witnesses.
P is for Put-downs. It also
stands for Press, bad press that is. Minnow bashing was
quite the thing this year and Bangladesh was the brunt of
many Tom, Richie, Warne and their assorted moms complaining
about how we are devaluing Test cricket.
is for quiet, resounding quiet from these same critics after
R is for Richard McInnes.
Proving that he is indeed the Messiah revisionist BD cricket
fans made him out to be, our Observer has quickly moved
up the ranks of the Aussie national team coaching setup.
S is for Sorry, as in Bangladesh?s
sorry performances (if that word can be used) in Sri Lanka.
S is also for Supersubs and Super Tests ? two gimmicks
foisted upon the public by the aforementioned, greenback
obsessed ICC. Come to think of it, both of these ?innovations?
were pretty sorry too!
T is for TigerCricket.com.
As they say in Bangla, ?nAi mAmAr cheye kAnA mAmAo
is for the Under-19 team. McInnes? wards made a happy
transition to his fellow Aussie Al deWinter and took on
all comers in 2005 notching 13 wins in 19 outings.
V is veterans for like Md.
Rafique who continue to plug away and pick up 5-fers while
the glam pace boys are yet to make Ms. Pfeiffer's acquaintance.
W is for Whatmore. That
name could very well stand for what more can he give
us? We?ve had the papa bear coddling our players to
build up their fragile psyches and spring a few (and far
between) competitive surprises, but as more of the new generation
comes in, the Rasels, the Shahriars et al, perhaps it?s
the tough loving of a different Aussie coach that could
push Bangladesh to the next level? As a bonus, this Aussie
coach is already well familiar with the Tigers and so far
he has not shown a propensity to lust after greener pastures
whenever one crops up.
stands for crossing things off. First test win - cross that
off. One major upset for the year - cross that off. Break
some batting records - cross that off. Strike bowler gets
injured - yeah cross that off too. Become a world power
in cricket ... hmmm, check back in a few years.
Yis for youth ? One
more shout out to the young Turks waiting in the wings.
Watch this space for Sakib, Tamim et al.
Z is for Zimbabwe. Yes the
place is a mess but they did provide a gripping series with
the kind of result Bangladesh had been waiting for. Has
1-oh tasted any sweeter?
1: The bangla expression for T
loosely maps to the adage "a bird in hand is worth two in
the bush" or, to be more precise, "something is better than
nothing". Literally it translates to, " 'tis better to have
a blind uncle, than no uncle".