Sunday, 26 April 2020

Formation of Cricket in Bangladesh

Bangladesh Cricket History

Bangladesh, the nation was born in 1971 after a war with Pakistan. Later, in 1972, a cricket governing council was formed in Bangladesh. At that time the condition of Bangladesh was not much enviable. Even the stadiums were in shambles and they required some repair works. Football was more popular in Bangladesh than cricket. Bangladesh National Cricket Team was formed in 1977. They became an associate member of ICC in 1977.In 1977 Marylebone Cricket Club team visited the nation. Srilankan national team toured Bangladesh in 1978 to play three 3 day matches.  The touring side won all the matches by an innings. Bangladesh got the real international exposure when they participated in the ICC Trophy in England held in 1979. Under the captaincy of Raquibul Hasan, they won 2 matches but lost the same number of matches and couldn't make it to the semifinals. In the first match they had defeated Fiji by 22 runs,thanks to 7 wicket haul from Ashraful Haque. In the second match they were defeated by Canada. In the third match they defeated Malasiya.

Mohammed Rafique

 In the fourth crucial match they lost to Denmark by 10 runs.In 1982 Bangladesh managed to reach the semifinals but they were defeated by Zimbabwe. In 1983-84 Bangladesh hosted an important tournament for the first time in history. It was the South East Asian tournament. Bangladesh defeated HongKong by 3 wickets in the final to win the trophy. The nation played it's first international ODI match in 1986 against Pakistan. Bangladesh led by Gazi Ashraf was bundled out for 94 runs and Pakistan reached the target with 7 wicket to spare. Bangladesh had to wait for 12 long years for their first ODI victory. In the Coca Cola triangular series of 1998, Bangladesh tasted their first ODI victory when they defeated Kenya by 6 wickets. Batting first Kenya had made 236 in 50 overs after the debutant Ravi Shah made 52 and H S Modi contributed 40. In reply Bangladesh made 237  with the loss of 4 wickets and 2 overs to spare. Mohammed Rafique was the top scorer with a well made 77. This was after his heroics with the ball in Kenyan innings where he had taken 3 wickets for 56 runs. Bangladesh  qualified for 1999 World cup held in England. They failed to reach the super six stage but they managed to defeat Pakistan in the tournament and it was a great achievement for the minnows at that time. Bangladesh had made 223/9 and later bowled out Pakistan for 161 in 44.3 overs.

Aminul Islam

 Khaled Mahmud picked 3 wickets conceding 31 runs. Bangladesh played their first test in 2000 against India at Dhaka. Surprisingly Bangladesh had made a good score of 400 in the first innings. Aminul Islam made 145.India were bowled out for 429. But in the second innings Bangladeshi batsmen lost their way and could only make 91 runs. India managed to make the required runs of 63 with 9 wickets in hand. Bangladesh managed to give Pakistan a shiver when they came close to winning a test match against them.Alok Kapali had taken a hat-trick for Bangladesh in that match. But eventually Pakistan managed to hold their nerves and won the match by 1 wicket. 

After 1999 Bangladesh had to wait till 2004 to register an ODI win.In 2004 they defeated Zimbabwe. After that Bangladesh managed to defeat strong opponents each year. They sprang up a few surprises. In 2004 they defeated India,2005 Australia, 2006 Srilanka and so on. Their victory against world champions Australia was one of the greatest upsets in cricket history. Batting first Australia made 249/5 after Damien Martyn(77) and Michael Clarke(54) contributed with half centuries. In reply Bangladesh made 250/5 with 4 balls to spare. Mohammed Ashraful contributed with a fluent century off 101 balls to take the Bangla tigers to victory.  So at least the fans were finding something to cheer about and their expectations were rising. In 2007 World Cup held in the Caribbean Islands Bangladesh defeated India in the league matches. They entered the super eight stages. In super eight they defeated South Africa. Slowly Bangladesh was trying to find their own space in the cricketing world. Bangladesh found many useful consistent players in Tamim Iqbal, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mashrafe Murtaza, Mustafisur Rahman,Shakib Al Hasan in this period and this changed the performance graph of the team. In 2010 they won the one day series 4-0 against a visiting Newzealand side.That was a rare scene of whitewash from the Bangla tigers.In 2012 Asia cup they reached the final defeating India and Srilanka but lost to Pakistan in the final match.They were not able to score 9 runs off the last over and that was a huge heart break for the fans. They reached the quarter final stage in 2015 World Cup held in Australia. In quarterfinals they lost to their neighbours India. In 2015 they won ODI series in India,Pakistan and South Africa.In 2016 they registered a test victory against a visiting English side. Champions trophy held in England 2017 proved to be a great outing for the Bangladesh team.In the tournament they lost the first match against England and second match against Australia was washed out. In the third match they got past NewZealand thanks to centuries from Shakib Al Hassan and Mahamudullah. Bangladesh as a result reached the semifinal stage of the tournament. Shakib Al Hasan was involved in some controversy regarding an Indian bookie contacting him. However there was no evidence of any illegal activities. But Shakib hasn't reported about the bookie's approach and resulted in a one year ban. Earlier there was a match fixing controversy involving Mohammed Ashraful. The stroke player batsman has admitted of match fixing during Bangladesh Premiere League in 2013 and he was banned for 5 years.Ashraful is a former captain of the national side.

Alok Kapali


There has been a surge of quality players in the Bangladesh team of late. There has been some quality all rounders in the form of Shakib Al Hasan, Mahamadullah, Mehidy Hasan and so on. Tamim Iqbal has been a great opener for the team. Mushfiqur Rahim in addition to his wicket keeping role plays an important role of a senior batsman. Mustafisur Rahman has been a great find in the department of pace bowling. 

Shakib Al Hasan

Mashrafe Mortaza has led the bowling department for some time with grace. Shakib Al Hasan can be considered as one of the best all rounders of all time.Bangladesh once had a unworthy record of 23 consecutive losses from 1999 and 2002 which is the most by any ODI team.Bangladesh also holds the record of most consecutive losses in test.They have lost 21 matches in a row from 2001 to 2004. 
Mohammed Ashraful

Mushfiqur Rahim has the highest runs scored by a Bangladeshi Batsman in test. He has scored 4413 runs from 70 matches at an average of 36.77 with a highest score of 219 not out.His 219 is the highest score for a Bangladeshi batsman in tests.Tamim Iqbal and Mominul Haque has scored most number of centuries for Bangladesh in tests. Both have scored 9 centuries apiece. Shakib Al Hasan with a tally of 210 wickets from 56 matches at an average of 31.12 is the highest wicket taker for Bangladesh in tests. Taijul Islam with 114 wickets is behind Shakib. Alok Kapali is the first Bangladeshi bowler to pick a hatrick in tests.He made the distinction in the test against Pakistan.At that time his age was 19 years and 240 days and was the youngest of all time at that point. Later the record was overtaken by the Pakistan pace bowler Naseem Shah.Sohag Gazi has scored a century and taken a hat-trick in the same test. These records were born in the test match against NewZealand in 2103.
Tamim Iqbal

In ODI Tamim Iqbal with 7202 runs in 207 matches at an average of 36.74 is the highest run getter for Bangladesh.Shakib is behind him with a tally of 6323 runs.176 scored by Liton Das against Zimbabwe is the highest individual score of a Bangladeshi batsman in ODI. The medium pacer Mashrafe Mortaza who has picked 269 wickets from 218 matches is the highest wicket taker of the nation in ODIs.He has a best bowling figure of 6/26 and an average of 32.65. Shakib Al Hasan with 260 wickets ranks second in the list. 
Mushfiqur Rahim

Sunday, 19 April 2020

The excluded players in IPL history

The cash rich league of IPL has been a blessing not only for the mainstream players but it has been an opportunity for many little known, opportunity seeking players as well. Many small town cricketers were able to break into the national scene just because of this awesome opportunity provided by IPL. Some of those players were even able to get into the national team by their consistent performance in IPL. Mohit Sharma, Rahul Sharma,Rishabh Pant,Dhawal Kulkarni and so on. The list is very long. But only few had managed to cling on to the fruit of success. Every now and then we have seen many glittering performances from players. But the problem is that these performances gets limited in those one or two editions of IPL and they fail to carry on their performances. Here we are going to discuss a list of such players who delighted us with some thundering performances in IPL, but later just faded out of the scene.

1. Swapnil Asnodkar

The little man from Goa had been a revelation in the first edition of IPL. In 2008 he came into IPL playing for Rajasthan Royals under the captaincy of Shane Warne. Shane Warne had described him as the 'Goa canon' . Asnodhkar made 311 runs at an average of 34.55. His highest score was 60.After a successful first edition much was expected from him in the next edition of IPL held in South Africa. But an injury during practice session made his plans go wrong. In 2010 and 2011 he just got 2 and 1 match respectively. And the cricketer who guaranteed much faded out of the scene. Recently he lost his position in Goa Ranji team when the team management changed their policy and started looking from some fresh legs.

2. Paul Valthaty

Injuries has been a bane for this talented batsman. He was part of Indian squad for U-19 World cup team held in New Zealand in 2002.During a match against Bangladesh he suffered  an eye injury which halted his progress. Later in 2009 he was selected for Rajasthan Royals team in IPL. His real luck came in 2011 with Punjab Kings XI. In that season he smashed a 63 ball 120 against the defending champions Chennai Super Kings. That innings opened the flood gates for him in that season. That innings was followed by an all-round performance from Valthaty. In the next game he smashed a 47 ball 75 and took 4 wickets by conceding just 29 runs.That innings was followed by a 31 ball 46. After those memorable innings in 2011 he was retained by Kings XI for next two seasons. But Valthaty was a pale shadow of his past.It was reported that he had a ganglion in his wrist which hurt badly. Once again health issues was halting the progress of this young man. In 2014 he went unsold for the auctions. At present he is an employee of Air India and plays domestic league cricket for his employers.

3. Rahul Sharma

The lanky leg spinner played for Deccan Chargers in 2010 edition of IPL. His returns were just 5 wickets from 6 matches at an economy of 8.08. It was not a record to envy about. But 2011 turned to be a year of luck for the youngster. His stint with Pune Warriors turned to be fruitful. In that season he picked 16 wickets at an average of 17.06 and that too at an economy of 5.46. He managed to pick 2 wickets conceding just 7 runs in his quota of 4 overs against a strong Mumbai Indians batting line up.  Very soon he found a place in the Indian senior team. He played 4 ODI and 2 T20I . He was caught in some controversy when he was reported to be tested positive for drugs. But he continued to play in IPL. In 2014 he was selected by Delhi Daredevils and in 2015 he was bought by CSK. But a shoulder injury had kept him in the sidelines for long and the decline of the leg spinner was far too rapid.

4. Parwinder Awana

Parwinder Awana rose to fame due to his heroics with the ball for Kings XI Punjab. He rose to be the mainstay bowler for the team in 2012. The pace bowler picked 17 wickets at an average of 21.88 in 2012. His economy was just below 8 at 7.91. In 2013 season he picked 15 wickets at an average of 27.46 and an economy of 7.62. These performances took Awana to the Indian T20 side. But the experience at the International level was catastrophic for the medium pacer. His two outings against England went wicketless and he conceded at an average of 11 runs per over in two games combined. Parwinder Awana couldn't recreate his performances in IPL too and quickly faded away from mainstream.

5. Kamran Khan

He was a cricketer who had to fight with his poverty. He impressed the Rajasthan Royals coaching director and he was selected to the team. He made his T20 debut without playing a single first class match under his belt. He was described as 'Tychoon' by the legendary Shane Warne who was the then Rajasthan Royals captain.He bowled the first super over in history of IPL in 2009. He restricted KKR for 15 runs which Rajasthan won with 2 balls to spare. Earlier he had bowled a brilliant last over in which he has conceded just 6 runs. Later there were some issues regarding his action and he was sent to correct it. In 2011 and 2012 he was bought by Pune warriors but could only be a part of 1 match. Later the fast bowler who could once hit above 140 Kmph mark and swing it lethally just dissolved away from the scene.

6.Shadab Jakati

The left arm spinner from Goa played for Chennai Super Kings in the 2009 season which was held in South Africa. Jakati was getting turn from those foreign pitches and he reaped 13 wickets at an average of 16.69 and economy rate of 7.48.He played for Chennai Super Kings till 2012. He got 32 wickets for next 3 seasons, but by 2012 his form was dipping. In 2014 he was bought by Royal Challengers Bangalore but could only play for 1 game in which he conceded 41 runs in less than 4 overs and went wicket less. In 2016 he played 6 matches and scalped just 2 wickets at a high economy rate of 8.9. In 2017 he played 2 matches for Gujarat Lions and gave away runs at an economy of 10.4 without picking a single wicket. Later he retired from cricket and joined politics.

7. Sreenath Aravind

The left arm seamer played for Royal Challengers Bangalore from 2011 to 2017. He could also bowl spin with his left hand. In his debut IPL season of 2011he became the third highest wicket taker among all teams. He scalped 21 wickets at an average of 17.52 and an economy rate of 8. In 2012 he got his first international match when he played a T20 match against South Africa. He was given the difficult task of defending 10 runs off last over. But the experienced JP Duminy found it too easy and carted away the required runs off in 4 deliveries. That was the only International match for Aravind. In 2016 IPL season he picked 11 wickets from 9 matches and was one of those responsible for the late surge of RCB.

Thursday, 16 April 2020

Gautham Gambhir The unsung hero

Gautham Gambhir once formed a formidable opening pair along with Virender Sehwag in both ODI and the longer format of the game. To a great extent it was the brisk and steady innings which the duo gave at the start of innings was which helped India to reach the number 1 spot in tests. It was a time when India was looking for an opening partner for Sehwag, India found the answer in Gautam Gambir. The Delhi southpaw often gave India the solid starts and was also equally abled to play the long innings.His long innings for more than 10 hours at Napier against New Zealand will be long remembered. He won the ICC award for best test cricketer in 2009. Gambhir at times lacked the charisma of some fellow great cricketers but he was more than helpful for team than any of those fellow cricketers at crunch times. Gambhir was the top scorer in two world cup finals in which India lifted the cup. Gambhir scored 75 in WT20 final in 2007 against Pakistan, and again top scored with 97 in 50 over world cup final in 2011 against Srilanka. But it should be doubted whether Gambhir got his due importance and accolades . At times his bad temper landed him in match suspensions. His dust-up incidents in cricket field with the likes of Shane Watson, Shahid Afridi are quite famous in cricket circles. We  can go through the best 5 innings of the Delhi opener. 

5. 206 Vs Aus,Delhi 2008

    It was the highest score of Gambhir in tests and for the Delhi lad  it aptly came at Feroz Shah Kotla, Delhi. India was leading the Border - Gavaskar trophy 1-0 when the two teams met at Delhi for the third test. Sehwag and David was dismissed early in the Indian innings and there was some bother in the Indian camp. But Gautham Gambhir had other plans and he scored a fluent double century to take India to a mammoth score of 613/7. Gambhir was dismissed for 206.Australian batsmen were equally up to the task and the match ended in a draw. Gambhir was suspended for the next match for elbowing Shane Watson.

4. 167 Vs NZ, Wellington 2009

    It was the final test of New Zealand series in 2009. Gautham Gambhir was in sublime form in the series and ended up as the top run scorer in the series for India. India was dismissed for 379 in the first innings. New Zealand ran into a fuming Zaheer Khan. The speedster picked up 5 wickets and the Kiwis were eventually bowled out for 197. In second innings Gautham Gambhir took the centre stage. The southpaw scored 167 and took the Indian total to 434/7. The Kiwi were set a target of 507. The match ended in a draw. Gambhir was adjudjed as the man of the match. India won the series 1-0. It was the first Indian series victory in New Zealand since 1968.

3. 137 Vs NZ, Napier 2009

    This is the finest test innings Gambhir has ever played. India had won the first test at Hamilton and were leading the series 1-0.In the first innings Kiwis made 619/9. Jesse Ryder scored a scintillating double century 201 . Ross Taylor (151) and Brendon McCullum(115) also scored centuries. In reply India's first innings ended up in 305. Rahul Dravid(83) and VVS Laxman (76) scored half centuries. India trailed by 314 and the New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori enforced the follow on. India had a difficult task to avoid a defeat. Gautham Gambhir played the test innings of his lifetime when he batted for 2 days for almost 643 minutes , faced 436 balls and scored 137 runs. His marathon innings made sure that the game ended in a draw and India retained the lead 1-0.

2. 97 Vs Srilanka

    It was 2011 world cup final at Wankade. Mahela Jayawardene made a fluent century knock to take Srilanka to a fighting score of 274/6. Indian reply started off poorly when they lost Sehwag off the second delivery of the innings. Again Sachin Tendulkar too returned cheaply and India was in some spot of bother at 31/2. Then Gautham Gambhir stitched a gritty innings of 97. Unfortunately he couldn't reach the century milestone. But before he returned to the pavilion India had reached a strong position. Dhoni was awarded the Man of Match award for his 91, but it was Gautham's innings which provided India the foundation.It was Gambhir's best ODI innings.

1.75 Vs Pakistan, Johannesburg 2007

   Gautham Gambhir best T20I innings came against the arch rivals Pakistan and that too at the big stage of World Cup Final. Gautham Gambhir was in sublime form in the T20 World cup 2007 held in South Africa. He was the leading scorer for India in the series. In the final when the big guns failed to score runs, Gambhir came to the rescue of the team scoring a vital 75 off 54 balls. Rohit Sharma scored 30 from 16 deliveries. These innings took India to a fighting score of 157/5. Then it is history that India managed to defend the score and lift
the world cup.

Gautham Gambhir has been the top scorer in both World cup finals that India won and he has been a part of. Gambhir had his share of problems in the initial stages of international career. He was a regular victim of LBW. But Gambhir sorted out the problem and came back strongly.Gambhir played 58 tests and scored 4154 runs at an average of 42.He was part of 147 ODI and he scored 5238 runs at an average of 39.7.Gambhir's graph started to dip in the later stages. Gambhir entered active politics after retiring from cricket and at present he is a MP from Delhi.