It was quite an interesting road to Dehradun to cover Bangladesh's three-match T20I series since starting the journey from Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka yesterday.
This reporter had to catch a flight for Kolkata and then another to New Delhi to take yet another flight to Dehradun and, knowing that the Bangladesh team were also travelling to Dehradun the same day but on different flights, the Tigers were finally caught up with at the Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi.
The first group that caught the eye was left-arm spinner Nazmul Islam, pacer Abu Hider and wicketkeeper-batsman Liton Das sitting by themselves and looking for their teammates near the boarding area of the Delhi airport, from where the Bangladesh team were to catch the next flight for Dehradun after a five-hour transit.
When approached, Nazmul said: “Oh you are here... you know, we actually don't know where the others are,” he exclaimed with a smile. Interestingly, the remaining members of the Bangladesh team were waiting at the airport lounge and eventually the three cricketers were reunited with their teammates while boarding the plane.
Then, when the Tigers' interim head coach Courtney Walsh found Nazmul he started jokingly pushing him away from the queue, saying: “You don't belong here!”
Bangladesh team manager Khaled Mahmud also made fun of the three cricketers and said, “Where were you guys? We had a great lunch in the lounge and there was wifi too. We had a great time but you three missed the opportunity.”
By then the other passengers realised that the entire Bangladesh team were travelling with them and many were eager to take photos with Mushfiqur Rahim and Mahmudullah Riyad, but when it came to the amount of requests, it was West Indies great Walsh who became the centre of attention.
The 55-year-old Jamaican was enjoying himself and when a fan asked him whether he was indeed the Courtney Walsh and which team he was coaching, the big man replied: “Bangladesh. You know... the Tigers,” and followed that by miming the roar of a Tiger as he walked off with a smile.
Entering the aircraft, Mahmud jokingly asked Walsh "Courtney, is there enough space for you?,” hinting at his substantial height that often causes difficulties for the former fast-bowling great.
Finally, the plane took off and the Bangladesh team reached Dehradun's Jolly Grant Domestic Airport and this reporter was also in the convoy behind the Tigers' team bus, which served as a message to the small north-western city of India that the Bangladesh team are here to play cricket.