Time to build on the positive vibe
A middle-aged man uttered his frustration much like millions of fans as he said: "We could win it had Sabbir tried." Another man supported him, but added: "Whatever the result, it was an exciting match."
It was impossible for someone to escape the discussion regarding the Chittagong Test, even in that adda at a medicine shop in a narrow lane in the centre of the city. It was not long before a third gentleman chimed in: "I am not a great fan of Tests, but I enjoyed every moment and realised that there is also a huge charm in Test cricket."
From October 20 to October 24, it was not unusual to see a rickshaw puller ask for an update of the Bangladesh-England Test in Chittagong or to see a pedestrian listening to the radio to stay in touch.
It is not a very common sight in Bangladesh to see fans so thoroughly engrossed in a Test match as their interests are usually held by ODI or T20I matches. After all, this is the T20-era, but the Chittagong Test was a good advertisement for the five-day game, showing that even Test cricket can captivate audiences.
The Chittagong Test ended on Monday but discussions regarding the 'ifs and buts" in regards to the autopsy of the match are still continuing and apparently making a huge impact on the minds of millions.
Generally, this generation is more inclined towards the aggression of T20 cricket rather than the slow burn of Tests. Things become even more complex when it comes to Bangladesh, who have more agony than glory in their 16-year journey in Tests and are still trying to build a strong longer-version culture.
It is a cricket-crazy nation but the passion and madness with the game mainly revolves around the limited-overs formats, especially as the success of the Tigers in the 50-over format has brought new hope. In such a context, a match like the Chittagong Test can play a big part in the psyche of young and budding cricketers apart from growing interest among supporters.
It was nice to hear how desperate a player like Sabbir Rahman was to play Test cricket and his words, 'Test cricket is real cricket', has raised hopes and may play a big role in encouraging young cricketers to live with the dream of playing Test cricket in the time of T20s.
Although Bangladesh lost the match, the skill and temperament the Tigers showed in the match against a strong team like England upon returning to the format after fifteen months was simply amazing.
But it was more encouraging that Bangladesh captain Mushfiqur Rahim was not driven by emotions. Rather what he had said during an exceptional post-match press briefing provided a lot of food for thought, particularly for the game's administrators in the country.
The wicketkeeper batsman once again outlined the need of a strong domestic structure in order to become a good Test team in the world. He reminded everybody of the difference between the first-class structure of England and Bangladesh in his analysis regarding what actually separated the teams in a nail-biting fight.
Currently Bangladesh has got a generation of cricketers who possess big dreams and work hard to materialise their dreams and the people saw the result of that in the Chittagong Test. And no doubt this sort of performance attracts and encourages young cricketers, but an experienced campaigner like Mushfiqur knew that the country would need to do more in domestic area to strengthen the base of cricket and convert the young cricketers' attraction and interest to the real deal.
Take the words from Mushfiqur, Bangladesh did not become a good Test team after such a brilliant performance. They would not have had they even won the match in Chittagong. But undoubtedly the shining performance provided huge confidence to Mushfiqur and created a positive vibe for the country's longer-version cricket and the administrators can cash in on it.