Students light up gloomy Mirpur
There was a different buzz felt across the stands at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium yesterday. With the gallery tickets priced at Tk 20, the ongoing Test between Bangladesh and New Zealand attracted quite a few spectators. However, the BCB's decision to allow school-going students free entry to the stadium raised the support levels by a considerable degree.
The crowded Sheikh Jewel Stand saw several students, clad in their white and blue uniforms, cheer every wicket that Shakib Al Hasan took with the kind of excitement usually seen in the limited overs format.
"Shakib is back!" shouted Rajib during the lunch break, reacting to the two quick wickets that the left-armer had taken before lunch. "So what if Tamim [Iqbal] missed his century... Shakib is going to get it back for us," one of his friends added in the same tone.
The presence of the youngsters, however, was best felt right after Rubel Hossain's superman-like catch at the square leg boundary after lunch. The pacer had hurt his back in the process and stayed down for a few minutes. It was precisely at that moment that the crowd started chanting his name in unison. Five minutes and a short physio session later, Rubel returned to bowl, all charged up.
The afternoon rain might have cut short the fun, but the free entry offer for students will remain for the rest of the Test. Students in their school uniforms and with their identity cards can enter the stadium through gates 21 and 22 to the Shaheed Jewel Stand.