The opening day of the Bangladesh Premier League's fourth season was all set to be a classic. Bangladesh had just achieved their biggest win by beating England in a Test for the first time and that was perhaps why enthusiastic fans lined up outside the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium (SBNS) in large numbers yesterday.
For a moment, it seemed as though the SBNS was hosting an international series rather than a domestic competition. After all, the BPL attendance in the last few seasons was not that great. However, yesterday, hundreds of fans braved the rain and waited for hours before they were finally let in the stadium at around 3:00pm.
Unfortunately for them, both the scheduled matches had to be abandoned due to the incessant rainfall. Mashrafe Bin Mortaza's Comilla Victorians was supposed to take on Darren Sammy's Rajshahi Kings in the afternoon. However, that game was called off at around 4:45pm.
The evening game between Shahid Afridi's Rangpur Riders and Mahmudullah Riyad's Khulna Titans was supposed to begin at 7:15 pm. However, the rain caused by a tropical depression in the Bay of Bengal that is forecast to manifest as Cyclone Nada, fell throughout the evening. The match was eventually called off at 9:25pm.
The rains did stop for a brief period at around 7:30 pm and that provided hopes of a curtailed match. The covers were briefly taken off the wicket and the groundsmen were inspecting the situation. The players had come out of their dressing room and were seen talking to the umpires. However, minutes later the drizzle resumed and the covers were back on.
The matches scheduled to take place on Saturday and Sunday might meet a similar fate as the rain is expected to continue till November 6.
The only respite for the fans at the stadium was that they got to see rock star Ayub Bacchu perform live. The circumstances under which the band performed were a little odd. They were given a spot at a corner of the stadium and each of the members performed underneath an umbrella. So, every time Ayub Bacchu went into one of his riveting solos, he had to ensure that he was underneath the shade and did not move too far.
Following the rock show, firecrackers were burst from the press box end. What could have been a festive beginning unfortunately ended with all four teams with a point apiece.