Tigers scale another peak: Beating teams with professional, non-cricketing experience
Faced with seemingly insurmountable odds, the Tigers came out trumps and made it through to the Super 12 stage of the T20 World Cup.
The Tigers had to battle oppressive heat, the injustice of having to qualify for a World Cup despite being ranked sixth in the world, and stronger gravity in Oman to win against two teams made up of uncles who have greater life experience.
But the aforementioned odds and injustices pale in comparison to the ridicule they had to face back home when they lost the first match against Scotland and when they were outplayed for about two-thirds of the match against Oman -- the home team made up of amateur cricketers. The team and the BCB president had to put up with statuses like "No Oman No Cry" that got a zillion likes and shares.
"One thing they [the ridiculers] do not understand is that while everyone is thinking that we are playing against amateurs like Oman and Papua New Guinea, these teams are full of people who have much more experience than us in the wider world," said a cricketer who refused to disclose his identity.
"Which is why they can play better than us in some crunch situations – in everyday life, they have bills and other things to think about. All we think about is cricket and we get paid handsomely for it, but for them, cricket is just another part of their lives. It took a lot out of us to win matches against them after losing against Scotland – who are only semi-amateur," he said.
Bangladesh's ace cricketer Shakib Al Hasan also offered a reason, not an excuse, for dropping seemingly simple catches during the matches of the qualifying round.
"The lights are low here, and we think that the ball falls faster here," he said during a press conference following their win over the home team.
Aino Faisiks, the latest appointee of the cricket board, who knows physics, endorsed Shakib's assertion.
"Not many people know this, but Oman falls in a zone where the gravity is slightly greater. I am going to write a paper in this regard, and I fully expect it to be Pir-reviewed," Faisiks said. "And combined with the low lights, the greater gravity can be really difficult when catching the ball. But we expect it to be much easier when we play in the main round of the World Cup in the UAE."
But the Tigers should not have been playing in the qualifying round in the first place. The team is one of the best in the world, sixth-best, and only had to suffer the ignominy of losing to Scotland because the ranking cut-off was so long ago.
But as the Tigers showed by beating Australia and New Zealand in the lead-up to the World Cup and in the more proper cricketing conditions of Mirpur, the team are just getting started. They are revving up. They lost against Scotland, won unconvincingly against Oman, and then absolutely thrashed Papua New Guinea.
So, as Aino Faisiks said, when they do start playing in the UAE, other teams better watch out.
*The writer is a fanboy who somehow manages to squeeze in articles at the last minute. We do not vouch for the veracity of the quotes he has provided.
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