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Linking Young Minds Together
 Volume 3 | Issue 09 | March 06, 2011 |


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The city of lights

Salman Rob
Photo: Anisur Rahman, Kazi Tahsin Agaz Apurbo

Photo : Anisur Rahman

Is it just us or are the lights of Dhaka city shining brighter than ever? The city never looked as captivating as it did the day Bangladesh won against the Irish. Maybe, it's just our eyes fooling us or maybe the lights are actually glowing brighter giving us more hope. Whatever it is, the feeling of having faith in our team just took a huge leap. They have proven what they are capable of and has given us the belief that they have the strength to stand up against any great team and put up a good fight. The tigers didn't bat well against Ireland but they showed their character when it came down to defending their low total with great spirit to win the game in any circumstance. Throughout the match the fans roared like never before to support their heroes and to make sure they don't feel we have given up on them. We were beaten by this team during the last world cup and we have beaten them this time, a comeback well executed.

After Tendulkar's Run Out. Photo : Anisur Rahman

Apart from this, something worth mentioning is the fact that the grand opening ceremony which took place at the Bangabandhu Stadium was rated 9.69 by the International Implementation Guide (IMG), just behind the Beijing Olympics (9.78), and rating over the Fifa World Cup, 2010. The opening ceremony was and will always be remembered as one of the best ceremonies in cricket world cup history.

Virat Kohli's Debut WC 100. Photo : Anisur Rahman

14 teams have qualified for the world cup this time and after watching a few of the games of the new comers it is hard to label them the underdogs. Teams like Netherlands, Canada and Ireland have the potential to put up a good fight and all of these teams have new players to watch out for in this tournament. Ryan Ten Doeschate of Netherlands is a player everyone should be keeping their eyes on, as he proved his worth with his century against England. Just like Ten Doeschate, there are players in every team to watch out for. For Ireland they have the two brothers Kevin O'Brein and Niall O'Brein, two really strong batsmen for the team. As for bowling, George Dockrell has the ability to make any batting order fall into pieces. Canada presented Ashish Bagai, also the Captain of the team, as one of the players the team can absolutely rely on at the time of need, not only with the bat but also behind the stumps. Collins Obuya is the man to watch out for from Kenya. He showed what he was capable of back in the 2003 World Cup, where he took five wickets against Sri Lanka and can still be back in business with his tricky leg spin. Brendon Taylor, batsman and a part time wicket keeper and also a part time bowler for Zimbabwe, is undoubtedly a man who can make a difference for the team like he did before with his batting against teams like South Africa, Sri Lanka and even Bangladesh. Chris Gayle- there's nothing much you can say about the titan from West Indies, especially when he's on fire with his bat. There are hardly any bowlers who can stop him from all the fours and sixes that explode from his bat. And when it comes to the first hattrick of the tournament, Kemar Roach is a serious threat to

During Adda's. Photo : Kazi Tahsin Agaz Apurbo

anyone playing against him. Brendon McCullum, wicket keeper-batsman of New Zealand hasn't been in his top form for quite a while now but like any other hard hitting opener, when he starts off well, it is a nightmare for the fielding team to stop him. Tillakaratne Dilshan and Lasith Malinga are two Sri Lankan players everyone should watch out for; with the deadly swings of Malinga and the tricky scoops of Dilshan, Sri Lanka is undoubtedly one of the favourites for the World Cup. Andrew Strauss, current England captain has shown amazing consistency with his bat and as a captain on the field. All the teams will be keeping a keen eye on him after his blistering 158 against the Indians. Dale Steyn and Imran Tahir are two South African players to watch out for. A debut World Cup for both the players means they would do what ever it takes to shine which can be a big threat for all the teams. There are too many players in the Indian team to look out for as their batting line up is probably the best in the World Cup this time. Giving the young talents a chance, Virat Kohli is one batsman who has the capability to change the game when the teams needs him the most. Pakistan has a very new line up for their World Cup with most of the players making their debut due to

Shafiul Celebrating Against Ireland. Photo : Anisur Rahman

a few unfortunate incidents. But none the less, Pakistan has the potential to go far. As long as Afridi is throwing his deadly spins and they stick to their near-perfect bowling attack with Akhter, Ajmal and Gul, Pakistan will have the edge. Cameron White and Shane Watson will be the hope for all the Australian fans. Australia's squad isn't as good as it was in 2007 but they still have what it takes to pull it off. Lastly Bangladesh, it's hard to say who's going to shine

Photo : Kazi Tahsin Agaz Apurbo


Right after the win against Ireland Photo : Anisur Rahman

from the 15 men squad. Each and every player, this time, has what it takes to pull off something great. Not to boast, Shakib Al Hasan has been constantly ranked number 1 all rounder throughout the last two years. So, bragging about our heroes is completely acceptable. However, majority of the people think Tamim Iqbal is the one to make a difference for the tigers this time and hopefully he will. The two great starts against India and Ireland shows the southpaw man is hungry to get the century.

During the Bangladesh vs India game. Photo : Anisur Rahman

On a different note, the World Cup hype has reached a new level in Bangladesh, especially in the capital city. Colourful rallies all around the city, unending 'addas' in the many cafés and lounges, teens and adults wearing the Bangladeshi jersey are a few of the things that is keeping Dhakaiites on their toes. Flying conversations like "Did you see what Strauss did against India the other day?" or “Shafiul was absolutely amazing against the Irish in that last over!" are heard around every corner of the city. Young or old, cricket is at the tip of everyone's tongues and everyone is loving it! Children are aspiring to be the next Tamim and Shakib of the

country while they show their friends imitations of beautiful reverse sweeps from the matches they watched with their dads. Almost everyone is beginning to take a new found interest in the sport testified by the deafening screams of support as Shakib walks onto the field or when Shafiul throws a beautiful delivery. Fueled by the adrenaline rush that surrounds the game, cricket lovers miss no chance of sitting down for another adda over coffee or dinner. This is what the World Cup is. It's not just a tournament; it is a chance for the hosting country to rebuild itself as a whole. And Bangladesh seems to be doing just that.

Photo : Anisur Rahman

Abrar Hasan, a student of Ibrahim Medical College and a big cricket fan, talks about how he feels about the World Cup. “It's kind of balanced. For once, I would love our country to host the world cup on our own but I suppose it would be too much on our plate. I personally feel Bangladesh and Sri Lanka are willing to show more enthusiasm as neutral supporters, but it's India with the better infrastructure. Bangladesh vs. Ireland was raw emotions on display.

Sehwag & Tendulkar on the pitch against Bangladesh. Photo : Kazi Tahsin Agaz Apurbo

Imagining World Cup. Photo : Kazi Tahsin Agaz Apurbo

Never in my life have I witnessed anything like it. People went crazy with the celebrations! Forget about what happened at the stadium. What happened in the streets is something I will definitely remember for the rest of my life.” About the opening ceremony, Abrar adds, “The opening ceremony was incredible! Our Indian counterparts have expressed their disapproval by calling it "overcooked biriyani", but I feel it was right up there amongst the best of the best. To be a citizen of a country that was able to pull off something of such grandeur makes me immensely proud.”

Sehwag celebrating his century. Photo : Anisur Rahman

Rashik Bin Manzur, a student from NSU and a huge Sri Lankan fan also talks about his views on the World Cup. “It is something you have always dreamt of. I remember when I was a kid I used to wonder whether Bangladesh will ever host the World Cup. And now the time is here. We are actually hosting it. I see happiness and excitement on all the faces around me. The opening ceremony totally ignited the hype. There never was a bigger or better event in our country before. All the Bangladeshis who witnessed it will remember it forever.” Manzur also adds, “The English might have invented the game, but it is best played in the sub-continent only because of the crowd. The love for cricket in this region is unbelievable. What is most important is it is a great opportunity for Bangladesh to showcase its talent. It is a beautiful country that remains to be discovered by the rest of the world.”

Now you know what World Cup can do. The World Cup has taken over the minds of thousands of people around the world and has proven how exciting a cricket match can be. Explosive sixes, blistering wickets, unforgettable catches and moments worth living through - it is a storm out there, and a beautiful one. And it is our turn to let ourselves loose in the splendour that is cricket.


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