Wednesday, June 23

Bangla verdict: Best ambience

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A 15-member contingent of the Bangladesh Cricket Supporters’ Association — that follows the Bangladesh cricket team around the world — descended on the Eden Gardens carrying a large banner that read “Cricket For Brotherhood” and wearing customised jerseys with the Bangladesh flag emblazoned on them.

A small crowd of spectators, who were in various Team India jerseys fashioned over the years, gathered around the men who were shouting “Tomar desh aamar desh Bangladesh” (Your country my country Bangladesh) to shout back “Jeetega re jeetega India jeetega”.

The sloganeering contest lasted for a few minutes before the men shot groupfies and headed for the gates.

Zunaid Paikar, 38, the president of the association, said that landing up at the Eden Gardens for the pink-ball Test was quite special as this was a historic match and they would not have given it a miss for anything on earth.

“This is the best atmosphere that we have seen anywhere in the world. Calcutta is cricket crazy and it clearly shows,” said Paikar.

Most members of the contingent were ruing the fact that Bangladesh had landed up in Calcutta with a side that did not have their favourites players such as Shakib-al Hasan and Tamim Iqbal in the squad.

“In the playing eleven our favourite is Mushfiqur Rahim and we hope he scores big,” said Shihabasan Khan, a member of the association.

He said the group met BCCI president Sourav Ganguly on Thursday and were elated to see him.

“Dada holds a special place in our hearts as he was the captain of the Indian cricket team when the Bangladesh Test team debuted in 2000. We also met Avishek Dalmiya, whose father (Jagmohan Dalmiya) has helped the Bangladesh cricket team in more ways than one,” said Mamun Ur Rashid, who works in a private company in Dhaka.

There were several men in the group who had come to the stadium for the first time but there were veterans like Manirujj Amam who had watched their national team in action against Pakistan in the ICC T20 World Cup in 2016.

Rashid said that they had followed their team around the world and had last cheered for them in Abu Dhabi.

 

Source: The Telegraph

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