Small plea for a supreme sacrifice | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, December 17, 2017 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, December 17, 2017

Small plea for a supreme sacrifice

Bangladesh cricket has come a long way since independence in 1971. Nowadays, fans can recall or even compare historic wins through easily accessible statistics.

However there is one match in particular which surmounts all others in the record books and that is the Victory Day Exhibition Cricket game. The fixture took place yesterday, as it does every year, in remembrance of the two greatest sons of Bangladesh cricket, Shaheed Jewel and Shaheed Mushtaque, who sacrificed their lives for the nation during the liberation war.

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The board annually organises the exhibition match where former stars of the county's cricket fraternity participate after being divided into two teams -- Shaheed Jewel XI and Shaheed Mushtaque XI.

Yesterday, former Bangladesh skipper Aminul Islam's Shaheed Jewel XI beat fellow former captain Akram Khan's Shaheed Mushtaque XI by 46 runs.

And as he does every year, Bangladesh ODI skipper Mashrafe Bin Mortaza, who has termed freedom fighters the true heroes of the nation, was present and spent some time speaking to Shaheed Jewel's elder sister, Suraiya Khan, along with the martyr's other family members.

Suraiya may not be a regular face in the Mirpur stands during international or domestic matches but she can be seen at the ground during Victory Day every year.

Many spectators may overlook the fact that two of the stands at the Sher-e-Bangla National stadium are named after Jewel and Mushtaque, but Suraiya always looks to where her brother's name is inscribed with tremendous pride.

However, Suraiya's only desire for Bangladesh cricket pales in comparison to her brother's contributions since all she wishes for is for the name on the stand to be a bit larger so that it is more visible to spectators.

“He loved cricket since childhood. He played for Azad Boys and later for Mohammedan. During the liberation war he went to India where his country became the main thing. He framed a picture of himself and gave it to our mother and said: 'When I am not here just look at this picture.'

"What should I say? I think these two young players (Shaheed Jewel and Mushtaque) gave their lives for the country so I think the board should have done something to pay some respect. There are two stands with their names in the stadium but I think it should be bigger. They could even put the information of their life. I always asked for that but they have not done anything yet,” Suraiya said.

Jewel, a right handed opening batsman who made his first class debut for Dacca (now Dhaka), played seven first class matches before the liberation war. His dream was to lead an independent Bangladesh team in international cricket.

On the other hand Shaheed Mushtaque dedicated his entire life to Azad Boys Club. 

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