You made us proud Tigers! No, I am no new comer to your fan club! But I remain a critical observer- hoping that you establish yourselves as professionals to make others envy the identity we are trying to define – be it Bangalee or Bangladeshi. Like many silent souls, my enthusiasm about our cricket team had been ridiculed by many.More than two decades back, a very distinguished citizen and my teacher at Dhaka College suggested that the emotional journey of reaching a peak in ecstasy, only to face an 03abrupt fall, was too much to bear! Repeated experience of such a journey does force one into a state of addicted melancholy,re-bouncing with an equally or stronger expression of jubilance on a win. But it did not happen so this time – neither in your gesture while leaving the field, nor in my emotional outburst watching you make the wining runs. The feeling this time had been more of a calm (KOOL) – as if, we had been winning such games for many years and you were expected to win. My heartiest congratulation to the Tigers for letting us enjoy that calmness in a win; and for inspiring us to dream beyond.
The long journey to this calmness taught the fans that the business of cricket cannot be undermined even when the players’ emotions shape outcomes in sports. This leads me to abrief suggestion – a dream to realize. For long, the hype around Pakistan-India cricket games have had obsessive presence in the cricket world, with a large captive market. The game drew crowds, finance poured in (along with vices!),individual players as well as the countries got wider global audience, and the Bangladeshis remained fragmented between India and Pakistan (cricket team)supporters! Recall Nasser Hussain’s remark after the defeat of England to Bangladesh team in the World Cup? He was referring to the size of population, and others took note of the huge crowd that gathered during games played by Bangladesh team – not only from the Pacific rim, but also hailing from North America and Europe. The same applies for any game to be played in the revitalized venues in the UAE. I am sure the corporate cricket, globally as well as those controlling the Indian setting, will see merit in promoting a new sports product called the‘India-Bangladesh’ cricket competition. Business-wise, such a product holds very high prospect. Since there will be apprehensions about its political costs, we need to find ways to promote a sense of healthy competition that assures the suspicious ones in politics.
I look forward to seeing the new dream realized. Thanks once again to all the players, coaches and the management for creating the space for dreaming beyond.
21 April 2015