Saturday, July 02, 2022

Musings of A Groundsman - Tigers' Tigritude

If like me, you've been trying to catch up on all the cricket we've missed out on, then you should have been following all the cricket going on presently. The first test of the series between England and India just ended in a draw, Australia is touring Bangladesh ahead of the World T20 and of course, the latest baby in cricket: The Hundred.

The biggest thing on TV now is happening across England and that is The Hundred - another professional franchise cricket aimed at attracting younger and more diverse crowds to watch the game. It is shorter and really colorful, with an interesting twist to its format. Maybe we will talk about The Hundred some other time but currently, my interest is in the just concluded bilateral series between Bangladesh and Australia.

If you are a betting man (or woman), all, if not most of your stake would have been Australia taking the Tigers to the cleaners, if history between the two sides is to go by. Bangladesh has never won any T20 game against the men from down under. Not at home, not at any other venue in the world. And if you have staked your money on Australia to win, you would have spectacularly lost your money.

The series was not on TV because the organizers could not secure a deal with broadcasters but I followed it keenly and it was worth the interest. You could say it's been a long time coming, but I think Bangladesh have finally earned their place at the table of highly ranked cricket playing nations. They have been making the statement since the last ODI World Cup and the statement is that they are no longer attending tournaments just to make numbers. They shot out of the blocks like a cannonball, taking the series by winning the first three games against almighty Australia. I don't like to think that Australia played badly, they were struck with injuries, or home conditions favored the Tigers. That would be a serious injustice to the beautiful 4-1 victory over the Aussies.

Not only did they register their first-ever T20 win, but they also registered their first-ever series win against Australia in any format at any location in the world. In the process, veteran Shakib Al Hasan became the second man ever to take a hundred T20 international wickets. Doing it in the same number of matches (84) as the Sri Lankan legend Lasith Malinga.

Like the popular saying goes: "a tiger does not shout its tigritude, it acts" and with the World T20 fast approaching, I sense plenty of 'action' from this group of Tigers. UAE and Oman, please make the stage ready, Bangladesh is coming!


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