History of Cricket in Bangladesh
Bangladesh is one of the countries where the people follow cricket religiously and every match is enjoyed the same as any festival. They have some of the most faithful and enthusiastic fans in the world of cricket. Due to the popularity of this game, Bangladesh has a rich history of national cricket tournaments. Bangladesh is a relatively young cricket team in international cricket. They have a group of talented players who have never failed to surprise and outlast their opponents. They came close to glory at times in ICC tournaments but couldn’t hold the nerves. Winning the Under-19 Cricket World Cup 2020 has been one of the biggest achievements for Bangladesh cricket.
Cricket had existed in Bangladesh even before the time this country came into existence. The British East India Company introduced the game of cricket to the Indian subcontinent. The first cricket match recorded in Bengal was in 1792. The game was quickly absorbed by the people of West Bengal but the East Bengal, now known as Bangladesh, was slow at picking up this game. The lack of infrastructure due to its geographical conditions and rural character were the reasons for ignorance towards cricket in this country. Later, in the 1860s to 1870s, after several developments, the European settlers in Dhaka revived cricket in Bangladesh. In 1876, European XI played against the Native XVIII in Dhaka. European XI won this match.
GF Vernon’s XI was the first English team to visit the Indian subcontinent. Bengal played a match against this team in 1889-1890. Before the partition, the Bengal cricket team participated in every major cricket tournament played in various provinces during the pre-independence period of India. With the partition in 1947, Eastern parts of Bengal formed a new province of Eastern Pakistan.
From 1955 to 1971, thirteen East Pakistan cricket teams were participating in Pakistan’s domestic cricket tournaments. The most successful teams were Dhaka University, East Pakistan Greens and East Pakistan Whites. Indian team toured East Pakistan in 1954-55 while the Marylebone Cricket Club made its tour in 1956.
After the Independence in 1972, Bangladesh came into existence. The country suffered due to poverty, famine and lack of administration for a while and cricket took a back seat during this period. In 1972, the Bangladesh Cricket Control Board was established to nurture and develop the cricketing talent in the country. The first organised competition was the club-level Dhaka Metropolis Knockout Tournament in 1973. A national club championship began in 1974 in Bangladesh and it was played regularly until 2015. The first Bangladesh national cricket team was selected to play against the MCC at Bangabandhu National Stadium, Dhaka in 1977. After their performance against the MCC, Bangladesh became an Associate Member of the ICC.
Bangladesh Cricket Team in 1986 (source)
History of Test Cricket
Bangladesh became the Full Member of the ICC in 2000 and became the tenth Test-playing country. They played their first Test match against India in Dhaka in 2000. Bangladesh put up a strong front against the Indian team. The batting performance of Aminul Islam Bulbul scoring 145 runs off 380 balls and the bowling performance of Naimur Rahman claiming 6 wickets for 132 runs boosted the confidence of the Bangladesh Test cricket team. India won this match by 9 wickets.
Bangladesh participated in the Asian Test Championship in 2001-02, losing both matches of this tournament by an innings. In November 2001, Zimbabwe toured Bangladesh which included a two-match Test series. The first Test resulted in a draw due to bad weather and the second Test match was won by Zimbabwe. Khaled Masud was appointed captain of the Test team for the Bangladesh tour of New Zealand. Bangladesh struggled against the Kiwis in unfamiliar conditions and suffered losses in all matches of the tour. In January 2002, Bangladesh lost a two-match Test series against Pakistan. Bangladesh along with South Africa were the only teams who struggled so much at the beginning of Test cricket. Sri Lanka claimed their biggest victory in Test cricket against Bangladesh by winning the match by an innings and 196 runs.
In January 2005, Zimbabwe toured Bangladesh for two Tests and five ODI matches. Zimbabwe had an inexperienced team in this Test series against Bangladesh which played to Bangladesh’s advantage. Bangladesh claimed their first Test victory against Zimbabwe in the inaugural Test of the series. They won this match by 226 runs. Emanuel Haque Jr, Habibul Bashar, Mohammad Rafique played a vital role in the first Test victory for Bangladesh.
Bangladesh Test Cricket Team 2021 (source)
Bangladesh still seems to be struggling when it comes to Test cricket. They have a few talented players in their team but the lack of Test temperament has been a cause of concern for this team. Since the nation’s introduction to Test cricket, they haven’t been able to build a strong Test cricket team. In the ICC World Test Championship 2021, Bangladesh was ranked last of all the teams after losing 6 out of 7 matches in the league stage.
ODI is the oldest form of cricket played in Bangladesh. There have been records of many first-class matches being played in Bangladesh in the past. After becoming an Associate Member of the ICC, Bangladesh played their first ODI match against Pakistan at Tyronne Fernando Stadium, Moratuwa in 1986. This was the 2nd match of the John Player Gold Leaf Trophy, now known as the Asia Cup. Bangladesh posted a total of mere 94 runs and Pakistan won this match by 7 wickets. Bangladesh qualified for the 1988 Asia Cup and hosted the tournament. This was the first time an ODI tournament took place in Bangladesh. Bangladesh also participated in the 1990 Austral-Asia Cup followed by Asia Cups in 1995 and 1997 along with many triangular ODI tournaments. It was in 1998 that Bangladesh claimed its first ODI victory against Kenya. This match was played at Lal Bahadur Shastri Stadium, Hyderabad, India, and was won by Bangladesh by 6 wickets. They had lost 22 consecutive ODI matches before they could achieve their first victory. In 1998, Bangladesh hosted the first-ever ICC KnockOut Trophy, later known as the Champions Trophy, but could not participate in it as this was the ODI tournament only for the Test-playing countries.
Bangladesh went on to take part in the 1979, 1982, 1986, 1990 and 1994 seasons of the ICC Trophy. They won the ICC Trophy in 1997 and eventually qualified for the 1999 World Cup. Bangladesh played its first world cup match in England and claimed its first world cup win against Scotland. Bangladesh was considered the underdogs in this tournament, but this team created headlines after defeating Pakistan. This was one of the biggest upsets for Pakistan in international cricket.
Bangladesh in the World Cup 1999 (source)
Since then, Bangladesh has played many tournaments and has managed to make a place for themselves in ODI cricket. Bangladesh was at its peak in ODI cricket when Shakib Al Hasan was named the best all-rounder in the ICC rankings, he was the first and only player from Bangladesh to top this list. Bangladesh qualified for the second quarterfinal in the World Cup 2015 by defeating England. This was by far the most impressive performance by Bangladesh in ODI cricket. They are currently placed 7th in the ICC rankings for the ODI teams.
Bangladesh played their first-ever T20I match against Zimbabwe at Sheikh Abu Naser Stadium, Khulna in November 2006. Bangladesh batted first, posted a total of 166 runs and won this match by 43 runs. Mashrafe Mortaza was awarded the Man of the Match due to his impressive all-round performance.
The year 2016 was the golden period for Bangladesh in T20I. Bangladesh hosted the 2016 Asia Cup and ended the tournament as runner-up after losing the final to India. They had a similar opportunity of winning the cup in 2018 but again lost the final match.
Bangladesh at the Asia Cup T20 2016 (source)
Bangladesh posed a serious threat to the Indian team in the Super 10 group 2 match of the World T20 2016 in Bengaluru. This match resulted in a disappointment for Bangladesh due to the final over debacle. Bangladesh is currently 10th in the ICC ranking for T20 teams.
Bangladesh is one of the younger teams in international cricket. Due to this, they had to face many defeats in the past. This team has been inconsistent with its performances due to the lack of seasoned players. In recent times, the Bangladesh cricket team has had many upcoming talents. Especially after their win in the Under-19 World Cup 2020, growth in the quality of cricket demonstrated by this team is highly expected.
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