This morning was crazy. I was following the Bangladesh game vs Australia. Around the half way stage, I had reasonable hope that Bangladesh could pull off the unthinkable. But as always, it was Bangladesh, and I must admit that I did not expect them to last beyond 180. And at 80 odd for 3 around the 27th over, a familiar pattern was beginning to repeat itself.
Then Ashraful happened. He and Bashar began to nudge the singles and take very little risks, yet keep the wickets in hand for the final dash. If that was the game plan, today it was executed to perfection. And when it finally happened, a Bangladesh victory over Australia that BBC (a bastion of anti-Bangladesh commentators) called "the pinnacle of Bangladesh achievements in one-day internationals" and Cricinfo labeled "the greatest giant-slaying of all time", I let out a medieval scream. I switched ON MY CAPS LOOK KEY TO SHOW MY EXCITEMENT ONLINE TO ALL OTHERS ON MY MSN LIST FOLLOWING THE GAME ON CRICINFO. Many of them had changed their nicks as well. 'Aus Banged', 'BD Kicks Ass(Aus)' and 'Holy Crap - BD actually beat Aus' were some of the most memorable ones.
Rony Bhaia called from Bangladesh. They are pretty excited too. Last time I was in Bangladesh, they beat India and then Zimbabwe. This time my folks are there, they beat Australia. He pointed that out to me, with some theory of us brining luck. Ofcourse the fact that the next day I was there India made 345 against Bangladesh was conveniently ignored.
At then end, though, Bangladesh cricket also owes a lot to Australians. It was Eddie Barlow, an Australian, who first set up Bangladesh cricket administration. It was the Australian cricket board's support that Bangladesh got Test status. It was their memorandum of Understanding signed with the BCB that Bangladesh got good training and infrastructure for their youth teams (under-15,19,21). It was their team's attitude during the Bangladesh tour of Australia that Bangladesh cricketers matured. Steve Waugh made his players go to the Bangladesh dressing room and talk to our cricketers, and tell them not to despair or listen to the critics. After all, Waugh knew what it was like to belong to a team that had potential but never achieved. That was Australia prior to 1987. And finally, it was Australia again, who today, was beaten, but never made an condescending comment about Bangladesh that the Pakis made.