The Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Mirpur isn't necessarily everybody's favourite place to hang out during a Test match beginning on a weekday. However, the return of Test cricket in Bangladesh after almost eleven months seemed to have attracted quite a few spectators ranging from different backgrounds. The General gallery was almost full in the first session of the game with the big screen at Mirpur proclaiming the presence of approximately 6500 people in the stadium as early as the morning session.
Different people, of course, had varied reasons to come to the ground. “It was a sort of a dream to watch Chris Gayle bat. I saw him playing in the big leagues on television and I am not sure if I can get a ticket for the one-dayers, so I didn't want to miss this opportunity,” said Parvez Shah, a student from Shahjalal University.
The low ticket price of just Tk 20 also brought many people to the stadium. “I live nearby and I thought since I had nothing better to do I might as well come and watch the match. I thought the morning session was brilliant. There were boundaries and wickets at the same time,” said Farid Ahmed, a resident of the area.
While the above-mentioned people represented the crowd from the galleries, there were also a number of people who were die-hard fans of Test cricket. Nurul Kabir, a 48-year-old businessman who was seated at the Shaheed Mushtaque stand, claimed that he preferred watching the longer version of the game to one-dayers. “I grew up watching the likes of Wasim Akram swing the ball in the longer version of the game. The one day game isn't as exciting to me,” said Kabir, adding that he was glad that Bangladesh returned to the Test arena.