Ode to Team Tigress

Saleque Sufi

Ode to Team Tigress

Bangladesh eves’ cricket team has made a precious Eid Gift to success starving adoring cricket lovers of Bangladesh stunning favorite India in the final of Asia Cup T20 tournament.

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Very few dreamt of such a success after a disastrous South Africa tour prior to the tournament where girls got comprehensively beaten in all formats they played.

But Salma –Rumana –Jahanara picked the brain of the coaching stuff and manager Nazmul Abedin Fahim, improved their cricket tremendously. Turning around, they won 5 matches in succession beating Pakistan, Thailand, Malaysia and mighty India twice in winning the much sought after trophy in International tournament.

Bengal Tigers won ICC trophy, Gold Medal in Asian games in cricket. But could never win championship in cricket in any major international tournament. The girls finally broke the ice in the seas to beautify our golden Bangladesh. No praise will be enough for Bangladeshi women cricket team.

I can flash back my memories of the early days of women cricket in early 1980s when Altaf Bhai used to coach them. So far I can remember witnessed some of their close door training with Nazma APA, late Salma APA and Aleya APA.

Girls could hardly hold the bat or run in and bowl. Imagine how time and circumstances changes. New management and new coaching stuff could instill faith and self confidence in the team. Winning a major tournament from a disastrous situation requires lot of courage, commitment and determination.

Beating Pakistan and winning twice against India can not be flashes in the pan. Those teams are much better looked after in much better facilities. It is a great feeling that Bengal Tigress is now on top of Asia right at the peak of Mount Everest. Bravo girls keep going .History would beacon you.

Me and Bulbul were talking about this historic turning around it. Bulbul informed me about Khadizatul Kobra, Salma and Jahanara led Bangladesh bowling attack was of international class. What our girls lacked was skill and technique of batting.

Perhaps when that nurtured properly, girls started winning and winning became their habit. From the second game on wards girls revolutionized their batting and defended with their penetrative bowling. That is how it was possible winning 5 matches on a trot after losing the first match to relative weaker Sri Lanka.

It must be a fairy tale episode and must be written in gold in the history of Bangladesh cricket. Their achievement now has greater significance as Bengal Tigers have just returned home after a demoralizing T20 series white wash against rookie Afghanistan.

Accolades are showering on the victorious Women team. Great reception on arrival at the Airport, reception at Hotel, announcement of cash award all came. But these girls did not get required attention at all despite of their successes at different times.

Very rich BCB took very little notice of them. They have negligible match fees and other benefits. Everyone wants to father success. Salma and her troops would definitely get many deserving rewards. But what they have achieved would encourage more and more Bangladeshi women earning glories for Bangladesh.

Hope BCB will give proper attention and take required care of the team. There must be regular competitive women cricket. There may be thoughts of Women BPL even if with 7 divisional teams. Each male BPL team should be advised to organize a women team.

I found someone talked of a separate academy for the women. The euphoria of cricket must not die out. Hope our team would continue their good works and qualify for World T20 tournament soon.

I would like to take off my hat to Fahim and his troops.

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