Jawaharlal Nehru’s independence speech ‘tryst with destiny’ is actually meeting and syncing very well with the current scenario of the Bangladesh cricket team. They have actually found their tryst with destiny and the golden years of the Bangladesh cricket team have arrived. Their back to back performances in One-day international cricket against Pakistan, India and South Africa which are considered to be the top-notch teams in the international cricket was commendable and quite dominating.
In 1977, Bangladesh became an Associate member of the International Cricket Council (ICC). Bangladesh was one of fifteen teams to take part in the inaugural ICC Trophy. In 1979 ICC Trophy edition which was hosted by England, International Cricket Council gave the permission to the countries not playing test to take part in the qualifying stages for the ICC Trophy championship. That was the first time Bangladesh cricket team was introduced to the world level through the qualifying rounds for the inaugural edition of the ICC trophy. The team lost two matches and won two matches, but unfortunately, due to the format of the championship they could not progress beyond the first round and that was the end of their hope for that year’s ICC Trophy edition. After that, they took part in each and every ICC Trophy edition in 1982, 1986, 1990, 1994. But their big break came in the year 1997 where they won the ICC Trophy against Kenya and the event was hosted by Malaysia. Their triumph also got them the ticket to the 1999 cricket world cup and the team qualified directly into the world cup that year. These were the baby steps that the Bangladesh cricket team were taking into the world cricket and were also making their existence felt among the other cricketing nations.
There ICC Trophy triumph gave a boost to the team in the 1999 world cup. In the early stages of the world cup, the most surprising at the same time most unexpected event took place which surely changed the fate of the Bangladesh cricket team for the better. The team which was considered to be a weak team Bangladesh defeated Pakistan cricket team by 62 runs in the group stage of the world cup which shook the whole world because the team which had Wasim Akram, Inzamam Ul Haq and many more were beaten by a team which hasn’t started playing the test matches. Bangladesh cricket team could survive the group stages despite surging such a huge upset, they got eliminated in the first round itself. But they gained some confidence of actually beating any big team and turning the table in their favor. Due to this heroic event, ICC gave the Bangladesh team their test playing team’s status in the following year.
This event inspired a lot of people in Bangladesh to take up cricket as a profession and eventually reaching to a point where they are at right now. Bangladesh has produced some amazing talent over the years. Khaled Masud was considered to be the best wicket-keeper in the world of his generation. But their success story is not so simple as it sounds, there was a prolonged drought of the first test win over a very long span of time. There successive failure in winning a test match and their inability to pull out something remarkable made cricket experts like Mike Arthur and Richie Benaud criticize the team by saying that the team is suited for the test match format. After going through the harsh criticism Bangladesh toured England for a triangular series between England, Australia and Bangladesh. Bangladesh played 6 matches out of which they lost 5 of them and their sole victory was against the champions Australia. This upset was cited as the ‘biggest upset in the cricketing history’. Mohammed Ashraful scored his first ever century in that match to guide his team to victory. Defeating Australia in an overseas condition gave a very strong statement to the world that the underdogs are capable of thrashing anyone out of the game on a big stage.
Another historic moment was when Bangladesh defeated India in the 2007 world cup in the group stage. Elite players like Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly were also part of the team which got defeated, that moment was the stepping stone towards their success and a new wave of cricket was gushed into the atmosphere. The buzz of this team got louder and louder over the years.
So the recent performance from the Bangladesh team is a part of the legacy that they are carry forwarding that they senior contemporaries had started.