Bangladesh has a narrow chance for semi-finals
Abu Musa Hasan
Thousands of cricket lovers from Bangladesh have sent letters to the Bangladesh Cricket Team wishing the success of the tigers.
In a unique initiative, a passionate cricket lover Rabeed Khan has collected over 5000 hand written letters from Bangladesh and sent those to London based former Bangladesh Cricketer Shahidul Alam Ratan, who is currently Chief Executive Officer of Capital Kids Cricket, a charity dedicated for development of cricket and a Level 3 coach of England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB).
A dedicated cricket organiser Ratan made a 410 km round trip from London to Birmingham Saturday 29 June to hand over 20-kg DHL parcel containing boxes of over 5000 hand written letters by the cricket fans of Bangladesh. The fans are from all ages including kids. Among others, Bangladesh Cricket Board Director Akram Khan, team manager Khaled Mahmood Sujon, media manager Rabeed Imam were present during the handover of the letters. They opened the boxes and read few letters. “This is a symbol of love of the people of Bangladesh for their beloved team— the Tigers, who have made them proud with their excellent performance in the ongoing ICC Cricket world Cup,, “ Capital Kids Cricket CEO told Shottobani, adding, “ I also feel proud that I have been able to hand over the letters to the team management.” The former cricketer of Bangladesh also said that he was not aware of such support for any other cricket team. This is a unique one, and I believe the Bangladesh team will bring more glory for us in the coming days.” A modest Ratan also expressed his gratitude to the officials of the BCB for giving him the opportunity to hand over the letters of support from the tiger fans who could not physically support them on the grounds.
Tigers will face India Tuesday 2nd July
The Bangladesh team is now practicing in Birmingham as they are getting ready to face the two-time former Cricket World Cup Champion Indiaat 24,500 capacity Edgbaston Cricket ground of Warwickshire County Cricket Club, established in 1886. The match between Bangladesh and India will be the eighth match of the tigers out of total nine matches of the Round Robin League. Meanwhile, Bangladesh team achieved 7 points by winning three matches against South Africa, West Indies and Afghanistan. The tigers have lost three matches against New Zealand, England, and Australia. One of the matches of Bangladesh washed away in Bristol due to rain and as a result Bangladesh has shared a match point with Lanka.
Still narrow scope to play Semi-Finals
Bangladesh has still got a narrow scope to enter in the knock-out stage provided the tigers can win two crucial matches against India and Pakistan and on the other hand, host England fails to win their last match against New Zealand. Bangladesh will play its last match of the round robin league against Pakistan on Friday, 5th July at Lord’s– the home of cricket. However, the hope of both Bangladesh and Pakistan will be wiped out if England wins against New Zealand on Wednesday 3rd July. In that situation England will move to semi-finals, by securing 12 points as Bangladesh, currently having seven points will have 11 points if the tigers can win both matches against India and Pakistan. At the same time Pakistan’s aspiration to move to the semi-finals willalso end with England’s win against New Zealand as they will have eleven points even if it wins against Bangladesh.
Although the batting line–up of Bangladesh have clicked during the World Cup and they have scored over 300 runs in three matches including two centuries from Shakib Al Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahman. I think, now it will be the turn of pinch hitter Opener Tamim Iqbal to perform in the last two matches. I expect that Tamim, if not in Edgbaston, is likely to click against Pakistan as his superb test century at Lord’s against England in 2010 will be his inspiration. Tamim is the first Bangladesh batsman to grab his name on the honours board of the Lord’s for hitting a century. One can argue that Tamim did his century in a test match, and cricket world cup is being held in a 50 over limited ODI. But as a witness of Tamim Iqbal’s test century, I can testify that he hit that century in more than ODI style. He completed his maiden Lord’s century by hitting a six when he was on 94. All together he knocked 15 fours and two sixes to complete the century and was out in the boundary line when he attempted to smash another six. I was accompanied by Nilufa Hasan, my better half and a London based senior journalist M A Matin. All of us were amazed and moved as there was a lengthy standing ovation for Tamim Iqbal from the cricket lovers at the Lord’s, of whom almost 90 percent were English spectators.
Abu Musa Hasan: Advisory Editor of Shottobani