Indian bowler Amit Mishra (2L) celebrates with team captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni (L) and teammates Suresh Raina (C
Dhaka has been the home of Bangladesh cricket for a few years © AFP

The Sher-E-Bangla National Stadium, Mirpur gets ready for its biggest day in its short history. Nishad Pai Vaidya reports from the scene as to how last minute preparations are taking place at the home of Bangladesh cricket.

 

Six hours before India and Sri Lanka clash for the ICC World T20 2014, the Sher-E-Bangla National Stadium was readying itself for the finale. The sun was beating down, whenever it peeked through the clouds. The groundstaff had all the wickets covered, with a few men on the boundary warming up with the covers. No, it isn’t raining! But, they have to be prepared don’t they. This venue has been the home of Bangladesh cricket for a few years and it has already hosted world events. This is undoubtedly its biggest day!

 

 

The Bangladesh cricket team did not celebrate its nation’s own party though! As a result, the fanfare may have dampened, but hasn’t been extinguished. On the eve of the final, there were dozens of fans were around the arena. The road adjoining the main gate has been lit up quite beautifully, graciously carrying the colours of the logo of this tournament. From a distance, you could see the stadium’s lights in full radiance. One look towards Mirpur from any part of the city and people would say, “that is the Sher-E-Bangla.”

 

As MS Dhoni and Lasith Malinga walked out for the photo-shoot more than 24 hours before they clash, the staff were rehearsing for the presentation ceremony. The stage had come out and there were dry runs of how the ceremony would take place. Of course, there were a few blanks in their script. India or Sri Lanka would fill them up later on Sunday. The buzz wasn’t so intense in Dhaka on the day before the final, but as the hour approached, it started getting intense.

 

Bangladesh fans turned up in big numbers even for neutral matches © Getty Images
Bangladesh fans turned up in big numbers even for neutral matches © Getty Images

 

With the women’s final being held earlier, the boundaries are shorter for now. The cameramen have placed themselves, ready for the action. Journalists have collected their passes and are beginning to settle in press box. Then, the ICC tries to make arrangements for the anthems. The Conquest of Vangelis plays in the backdrop as the volunteers bring the flags of the two nations as a rehearsal. The floodlights come on even when there is sunlight. Yes, they were ready for everything, yet, they want to get it right! There is always the last minute rush! The teams aren’t the only ones who are nervous on Sunday!