Home > Features >

ICC World T20 2014: When in Dhaka, talk cricket

Dhaka is the epicentre of cricket right now, and Bangladeshis know how to party © Getty Images
Dhaka is the epicentre of cricket right now, and Bangladeshis know how to party © Getty Images

Dhaka is the centre of the ICC World T20 2014 party. Nishad Pai Vaidya captures the mood as he arrives in Dhaka.

“Hi. You were sitting next to me on the flight from Mumbai. What takes you to Bangladesh?” asked a co-passenger as this writer walked about the Kolkata airport during a long stopover enroute to Dhaka. We have seen the Bangladeshi public throng the stadium in huge numbers; cricket captures their imagination! Far away from Dhaka, you could still smell the air of cricket. It is a language that connects different nationalities and one that everyone understands. You say the word cricket on your way to Bangladesh and the response is overwhelming!

When this writer replied that he is going to cover the ICC World T20 2014, the co-passenger’s face lit up. He introduced himself and said, “We are disappointed with our team’s performance. Our people do expect a lot and come and support them. There is one thing about Bangladesh: our people will come and support the games. Even for some of the non-Bangladesh games, you will find so many people coming into the ground.” One could sense the anguish of the Bangladeshi fan miles away from the capital!

While the World T20 has been Bangladesh’s big party, their national team hasn’t arrived to be a part of the celebrations. It may have dampened the spirits of their supporters but, it doesn’t stop them from loving the sport. You land in Dhaka and the first thing you see on the aerobridge, connecting your flight to the terminal, a huge banner with the tournament’s logo. And, then there is the country’s Prime Minister, Sheikh Hasina, welcoming guests to her country’s grand event.

And you can see two figures almost everywhere. Mushfiqur Rahman and Shakib Al Hasan make their presence felt on large banners. Almost every bridge in the city declares that the country is hosting a world cup. This writer’s taxi driver couldn’t speak Hindi or English, but the moment he heard the word “cricket”, his face lit up. As we worked our way through the city, he suddenly exclaimed, “Stadium…stadium!!” pointing towards the magnificently lit up Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium. Cricket is the language people speak here!

Bangladesh fans soak in the atmosphere in Dhaka. Photo Courtesy - Nishad Pai Vaidya
Bangladesh fans soak in the atmosphere in Dhaka. Photo Courtesy – Nishad Pai Vaidya

Apart from the local fans, this writer also ran into a man from Kerala. An avid cricket fan, he travels around the globe to catch a glimpse of his favourite sport. Hailing from Kochi, he had to take a flight out to Mumbai and then come down to Kolkata to get the next for Dhaka. Along the way, he mentions, “I don’t have a ticket for tomorrow’s game (India vs Australia), and I am hopeful of getting it. This is my first time in Bangladesh, but I do hope to get it.”

Dhaka can stun you if you are here for the first time. The traffic is unbelievable and it is very hot! But, it is cricket that will attract you to this city that is booming into a big centre. One only hopes their national team repays all that faith and love with some performances along the way. As one fan told this writer, “Our future in cricket may be good, but when will it come?”

ICC World T20 2014 Points Table and Team Standings

ICC World T20 2014 Schedule details

(Nishad Pai Vaidya is a Correspondent with CricketCountry and anchor for the site’s YouTube Channel. His Twitter handle is @nishad_44)

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 20, 2014 (14:30 IST)   at Kolkata

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 22, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Dubai

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 22, 2014 (19:00 IST)   at Cuttack

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 24, 2014 (03:00 IST)   at Mount Maunganui

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Oct 25, 2014 (09:00 IST)   at Dhaka

More

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 21, 2014  at Mount Maunganui

South Africa won by 6 wkts

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 17, 2014  at Dharamsala

India won by 59 runs

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 14, 2014  at Visakhapatnam

Match cancelled

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 12, 2014  at Abu Dhabi

Australia won by 1 run

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 11, 2014  at Delhi

India won by 48 runs

Photos

Pakistan vs Australia, 1st Test at Dubai

Videos

AB de Villiers praises team after win in 1st ODI

Saeed Ajmal’s action to be assessed after two more weeks of remedial work under Saqlain Mushtaq

Pakistan vs Australia, 1st Test, Day 1 highlights: Younis Khan’s ton, Mitchell Johnson’s riveting spell

Steve O’Keefe and other Test cricketers with apostrophes in their surnames

Mitchell Marsh, Shaun Marsh, Geoff Marsh and other Father-Son trios to have played Test cricket

Pakistan vs Australia 2014: Why did Mohammad Hafeez go for a shocking review?

Australia Australia tour of UAE 2014 Australia vs Pakistan Australia vs Pakistan 2014 India New Zealand New Zealand vs South Africa New Zealand vs South Africa 2014 Pakistan Pakistan vs Australia Pakistan vs Australia 2014 South Africa South Africa tour of New Zealand 2014 South Africa vs New Zealand South Africa vs New Zealand 2014

Live Streaming: Pakistan vs Australia, 1st Test, Day 2 at Dubai

Live Cricket Score: Pakistan vs Australia, 1st Test, Day 2 at Dubai

Live Scorecard: Pakistan vs Australia, 1st Test, Day 2 at Dubai

Teams display confidence ahead of the World Cricket League Division 3

Saeed Ajmal’s action to be assessed after two more weeks of remedial work under Saqlain Mushtaq

Pakistan vs Australia 2014: Mitchell Johnson shows signs of effectiveness on unhelpful surfaces

Joginder Sharma: When an over eclipses a career

South Africa vs New Zealand 2014: Vital for Brendon McCullum to find form quickly

Younis Khan: First Pakistani and 12th overall to score a century against all 9 Test nations

Pakistan vs Australia, 1st Test, Day 1 highlights: Younis Khan’s ton, Mitchell Johnson’s riveting spell

Fan of the Day

Suraj Gowda

Suraj Gowda

642 Posts | 9 Fans

Virat Kohli's Family Meets Anushka Sharma

अभिनेत्री हुमा कुरैशी ओरिफ्लेम की ब्रांड एंबेसडर

Has Bigg Boss 8 made Karishma Tanna the most hated person?

Pranab Mukherjee returns home after visit to Norway, Finland

Revealed: First look of Amitabh Bachchan-Farhan Akhtar’s Do!

7 reasons why having sex during pregnancy is great for your health

Videocon Infinium Graphite with gesture control feature launched, priced at Rs 10,499

Rupee up 19 paise against dollar in early trade

Twitter introduces Audio Cards to listen to music directly from your timeline

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here