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Sunday, January 26, 2020

Mirpur memories

From cricket’s best footballers to fans lucky enough to visit post-match parties, Nihal Koshie has an eye on all the happenings in and around the fifth edition of the World T20.

Written by Nihal Koshie | Published: April 8, 2014 2:25:02 am

From cricket’s best footballers to fans lucky enough to visit post-match parties, Nihal Koshie has an eye on all the happenings in and around the fifth edition of the World T20.

The humble cycle rickshaw in and around Dhaka turns into a cannonball, touching speeds of up to 40 kmph! The steroid-booster comes in the form of four low-voltage batteries and a motor. Once charged, each battery runs for 12 hours. The Chinese power unit is cheap and easy to maintain, like most Chinese goods. What used to take 20 minutes is now a 5-minute ride. The only risk being the brakes are still archaic.
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The state-owned gas company issued an order to fertilizer plans to halt production to ensure the three venues of the World T20 — Chittagong, Sylhet and Mirpur receive uninterrupted power. Chronic power shortages have led to protests previously, including in Chittagong. An online betting agency also opened odds on a blackout during an Australia game. George Bailey’s team played like they had a collective blackout, beating only Bangladesh. Lights went out on two occasions in Chittagong and once in Sylhet. Bad weather, rather than errant fertilizer factories, caused the lines to trip.
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The Indians play football with a lot of pride. Virat Kohli is tireless, Dhoni is often at the right place to slot in the goal, while Varun Aaron is the most skilful. Yet, their combined talents pale in comparison to that of the West Indies. Leg-spinner Samuel Badree is a physical education teacher and that explains his dribbling skills. Yet, Badree is not the best forward in the side. He may find it difficult to make the XI. Andre Russell, the Jamaican all-rounder, played Under-19 football for his country.
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Chris Gayle doesn’t play football. The opener is the ‘big unit’ in the side who needs to be maintained like a Rolls Royce. Gayle did light up the World T20. Not with the bat but with his moves. He brought out the Gangnam after West Indies beat the Australians in a match preceded by all-rounder James Faulkner’s ‘I don’t like the West Indies’ comment. The final word came from Gayle when he tweeted: When you come to shoot – shoot. Don’t TALK.
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No player is bigger than the game but when it comes to Bangladesh and Shakib Al-Hasan, the sporting maxim doesn’t hold good. After losing three games in a row and with the memory of the humiliating loss to Hong Kong still fresh in the minds of the fans, Shakib, in an interview to a local daily Prothom Alo, blamed the side’s poor show on the immense pressure of expectations from fans. He also singled out mediocre coaching for the lack of talent. The BCB reacted by issuing a show-cause notice.
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Gayan Manjula Senanayake is hunchbacked, but he is a big draw in the stands that hold the most vociferous Sri Lankan cheerleaders. On Sunday night, Gayan had privileged access to the team’s after-match party at the hotel. “The first thing the players asked me was ‘how is your voice’. It was rather good, considering that I was shouting myself hoarse. There was a trophy-shaped cake for captain Lasith Malinga,” Gayan says.He also got a cup of his own. He was besides Mohammed Bashir, the Chicago-based travelling fan. When India lost, Bashir handed over the steel trophy he was holding to Gayan. Bashir, incidentally, is one of the only fans in all of Bangladesh lucky enough to seek and recieve autographs from players, having penetrated the tight security blanket that had been spread around this tournament. But far greater than any autograph is his ticket stub from the final, considering MS Dhoni personally gave the entry-pass to him.

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