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          Volume 11 |Issue 07| February 17, 2012 |


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Bollywood Premier League


While a whole lot of Bollywood artistes are now more and more looking like Bangladeshi women and vice versa, including my spouse (come on, it's Valentine's Day!), I was stranded leg before the television when I saw a never-seen-before presenter hosting the unintelligent fill-in-the-gap talk shows during breaks between sessions at our khod Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium. She looked Indian, (put the volume up) sounded Indian; Oh my God! She was Indian! But what the bails was she doing on a cricket show of a Bangladeshi TV channel, and in a tournament organised by Bangladesh when half of Bangladesh's population are women? That is contextual if the organisers were hell-bent on having a woman as the Compere.

The lady presenter was cricket-wise as raw (to the viewers) as a jatka hilsa just caught behind Chandpur. So what reason can the tournament hosts (read Bangladesh Cricket Board), possibly cite for not inviting a Bangladeshi (even if raw-in-cricket) lady to take on international cricket celebrities with unwise questions like 'why did you take up cricket when your father was a footballer?' or 'do you have to warm up before every match?'

The BPL got off to a glittering but run-of-the mill start with the body jhatka of imported danseurs and danseuses at the opening where Bangladesh history, culture and heritage were totally missing, alas. And tickets were as expensive as at the Lord's (given our economy) making recipients of freebies appear lonely in the sparsely crowded international venue. That gave the game administrators a bodily jhatka and they reduced the prices overnight, as if they did not know the buying power of Bangladeshis the night before.

On that rather bizarre BPL TV show there was this Bollywood actress shouting dispassionately 'Dhaka... Dhaka... Dhaka...' more as an Aricha bus conductor doing his job than someone who belongs in the realm of a 400-year old city. Were the gladiators that much pitiable and inadequate that they could not request/engage/manage a Dhaka film actress? That again is contextual if the coordinators and controllers were determined on having a woman celebrity as the televised cheerleader. The fish-out-of-water exposure brings down to earth the long-realised realisation that a team T-shirt does not make a fan just as a tiger hide does not confer royalty on a fox.

The game in question is cricket. Lajja! when we have very recently most laudably hosted the World Cup.

The channel is Bangladeshi. Chee! when our channels are not even allowed to air on Indian air.

The month is February. Dhikkar! when the entire show is oblivious of the gravity of the epic occasion. A black ribbon would have been decent; after all, this is the month of the International Mother Language Day, our Shaheed Dibash.

The land is Bangladesh. Shame!

A Bangladeshi should have conducted the auctioning of the cricketers. 'But no local personality has the experience', you can hear someone whimpering. Bullshit of an argument, because the foreigner who did conduct business on that evening did not begin life with the word, 'sold'.

More Bangladeshi umpires should have been given the global exposure in their own backyard.

Bangladesh culture should have been highlighted on our home ground.

Those are some of the explicit purposes of hosting such an event. BCB may want to ask any host of the World Cups or the Olympics, or better still, themselves.

The tournament in the meanwhile is gaining momentum, what with foreign recruits with proud pasts overshadowing our home-grown current cricketers, but our boys are learning to rub shoulders with some greats and they shall improve their game. That is one of the purposes of hosting such an event.

Fans are filling the stands; the regional fervour alive in their yells and yeses, and the disappointment writ loud on their faces being beamed live to the world. Cricket at home is bound to become more popular and Bangladesh will be better known to the world, provided the projection is in good length. That is one of the purposes of hosting such an event.

BCB had sadly and unimaginably postponed the Dhaka Premier League to accommodate the videshi hungama albeit remixed with traces of bhawaiwa. The board gave in to the demands of the local clubs to at least complete the first round. Now they have to wait for the $$$-spinning BPL to conclude, after which the deshi league shall commence again. Such half-baking jeopardizes the ascent of budding cricketers trying to make a cut in the national team. That is not the purpose of hosting such an event.

Given the confused scenario, is BCB hosting a foreign tournament for pecuniary gains on our soil with some of our players getting the chance to play just because we own the bat and the ball? Or, are they not hosting at all?


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