The love for the sport in this nation is beyond proportions © Getty Images
The love for the sport in this nation is beyond proportions © Getty Images


Dhaka is currently soaked in a cricketing atmosphere. Nishad Pai Vaidya narrates a few instances from his stay in the city.


If one has a close look at the logo of the ICC World T20 2014, one would realize that it resembles a very familiar sight in Bangladesh. The rickshaws, a popular mode of transport, have found their recognition with a logo of a world event honouring them. When you get to Dhaka, you have to travel in one of these. Your trip isn’t complete without riding those open rickshaws with the driver cycling you around the city. Well some cycle you around, but the other more ingenious ones have fitted a motor along the wheel shafts. All they have to do is give the vehicle a direction.


This writer has travelled in a few rickshaws since his arrival in Bangladesh. And, with little or no knowledge of Bengali, it is tough to bargain after you say, “Mirpur stadium jabe?” (Bengali for: Will you go to the Mirpur Stadium) in an accent that is peculiar to them. There is one thing though: Look out for a rickshaw whose driver doesn’t seem adventurous. In the middle of the chaotic Dhaka traffic you do not need someone who adds to it with his daredevilry. Unfortunately, this writer found one on Monday.



This particular rickshaw driver took bravado to a new level. He twice banged into a vehicle in front, nearly knocked a man down while also trying to fashion a head-on collision with an incoming rickshaw. But, the one that stood out was his move to ride on the opposite side of the road in the face of a heavy flow of traffic. Yes T20 cricket is all about madness and this one seems to have taken the tribute too seriously by the looks of things.


The rickshaw is the charm of the city, but the rickshaw pullers are a little too brave for comfort © Getty Images
The rickshaw is the charm of the city, but the rickshaw pullers are a little too brave for comfort © Getty Images


The unforgiving heat


As this writer collected his ICC Accreditation card five hours before the game, he decided to have a walk around Mirpur to discover the area. The heat was intense and the humidity just hits you. After a long walk-about, a bottle of water and a Pepsi, this writer could only remember Adam Hollioake’s adventure in Dhaka in 1998. In an interview with CricketCountry, Hollioake recalled eating a bowl of noodles, a few nans and five Mars bars after a fighting innings under the Dhaka heat. It was all done to counter his dehydration.


Gaurav Joshi, my fellow writer at CricketCountry, is put up at a hotel close to the stadium and had invited this writer to meet him around 11:30. With about half an hour to go, this writer made his way to the hotel and sat in the lobby for half an hour. It was only for the air conditioner and not to be “well in time.” One wonders how the players brave it out in the afternoon.


Sammy speaks a second language


As West Indies prepared for practice on Monday, Saqlain Mushtaq and Darren Sammy addressed the media. Saqlain came up first and the Urdu journalists in town requested the West Indies media manager for a session in their language. After some thought, he agreed but only after the English sessions. Saqlain radiated passion and kept saying that he wears the West Indies logo not on his body, but on his heart, dealing with questions in English and Urdu.


Sammy came on next and the West Indies media manager quite cheekily said, “Darren can speak two languages too if you can understand (the one apart from English). I can’t.” There was a chuckle around the room then. When asked whether he had heard of celebrations back home after the win against Australia, Sammy said, “I got a few calls from home. It is Lent season in the Caribbean and they were blaming West Indies for having people drinking.”


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