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The pre-Test era: when Bangladesh fell in love with cricket

Between 1947 and 1971, only one Pakistani cricketer from the east of the country was picked in the Test team.

Then Bangladesh was born, and there were far more important matters to attend to than worrying about cricket.

But the passion survived in pockets and slowly, through schools and club cricket, the game made its way into the public consciousness.

By the early 1990s, several foreign stars were taking part in club cricket in Dhaka. And the Bangladesh national team gradually improved, before being granted Test status in 2000.

ESPNcricinfo’s Mohammad Isam and BCB senior manager (media and communications) Rabeed Imam tell us how cricket survived through the ’70s and ’80s before finally dethroning football as the most popular sport in the late 1990s. They talk us through some of Bangladesh’s famous wins and introduce us to cricketers who sustained the passion through the trying times.

Participants:

Mohammad Isam (@isam84)

Rabeed Imam (@rabeedi)

Siddhartha Vaidyanathan (@sidvee)

Related reading:

The original premier league – Mohammad Isam

Reliving the 1999 miracle – Mohammad Isam

The defeat that launched Bangladesh’s World Cup ambitions – Mohammad Isam

Javed Omar, no, yes, sorry – Hate to Love – Mohammad Isam

The unassuming hero – Mohammad Rafique

Victorious in Dhaka – revisiting the first Champions Trophy

Remembering Raman Lamba – Sidharth Monga

81allout interview with Mohammad Isam from May, 2019

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Lead image from here.

One Comment

  1. Vivek Bhandari Vivek Bhandari

    I think one Bengali tradition that is still alive in Bangladesh is the daak naam/bhalo naame culture, that is, official name/pet name. People are officially referred by their pet names. For example, Bulbul, Moni, etc.
    The thing about the Mini World Cup was nostalgic; there were good crowds for all the matches; one thing I particularly remember about this tournament was the the extra run off a no ball was introduced in this series. That change actually helped NZ to win the first match against Zim.
    The bit about Chetan Sharma being ‘kidnapped’ by the rival team is the real gangsta stuff 😀

    P.S: It’s good to see Isam bhai and you referring Rabeed da as Rabeed bhai 🙂

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