History of Bangladesh Cricket
The borders of Bangladesh, previously 1947–1955 were set by the Partition of British India in 1947, when it became the eastern wing of Pakistan and known as 1955–1970. It was separated from the main (western) part of Pakistan by some 1,600 km (990 mi) of volatile Indian Territory, hostile towards them. Despite their common religion of Islam, the ethnic and linguistic gulf between the two parts of Pakistan, compounded by an apathetic government based in the west, resulted in the independence of Bangladesh under the leadership of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman in 1971 after the bloody Bangladesh Liberation War, in which it was morally supported by the Republic of India.
Bangladesh formally declared its independence from Pakistan on 26 March 1971. This was confirmed on the new nation’s Victory Day of 16 December 1971.
A. British Era:
Cricket flourished in Bengal during the British era. Centering Calcutta, cricket gained a lot of popularity among the general mass. This led to the evolution of cricket over the years in West Bengal as well as present Bangladesh.
B. East Pakistan Era:
After the partition of Bengal in 1947, matches of domestic cricket in Pakistan were conducted in four leagues. Regional East Bengali of Pakistan teams regularly took part in the first-class Quaid-e-Azam trophy from 1954 through 1968.
1955–1969: Seven international Test matches with Pakistan participating as the host team were played in Dhaka between 1955 and 1969.
The first test was held between Pakistan and the Republic of India in January 1955. The match started on the first day of the year. The newly built Dacca Stadium (now “Dhaka”-Bangabandhu National Stadium) then had the maximum capacity of accommodating 15,000 spectators.
The next match at the Bangabandhu National Stadium was played between Pakistan and New Zealand from 7 to 12 November the same year. The third Test was played at the Bangabandhu National Stadium between Pakistan and West Indies in March 1959. Then came Australia in the November of the same year under the leadership of Richie Benaud. The fifth Test at the Bangabandhu National Stadium was played in January 1962 between Pakistan and England. The next match was also played between Pakistan and England after seven years in February 1969. The last, but not the least, Test between Pakistan and New Zealand was played in November of the same year.
C. Bangladesh Era:
1972: The Bangladesh Cricket Control Board is established. Soon after, a cricket league commences in Dhaka and Chittagong. It is a slow start, other things having priority in the war-torn country. Early in 1975 the Dhaka (then “Dacca”) stadium was still in disrepair, the square having sunk several inches and the Press Club shell-torn.
1974/75: A national level cricket tournament begins in the country. 1st division and 2nd division cricket leagues start at the districts level. Other tournaments that were organised included National Youth Cricket, Inter-university Cricket, College & School Cricket, Shahid Smriti Cricket, Damal Summer Cricket and Star Summer Cricket.
1976/77: Robin Marlar writes Whither Bangladesh?, a detailed description of Bangladesh cricket’s state of affairs and a yearning to see Bangladesh in the international stage. Bangladesh Cricket Board officials become more alert and enthusiastic after this international exposure.
After the completion of the 1975–76 domestic season, Bangladesh Cricket Control Board’s acting secretary Reza-e-Karim writes to the International Cricket Council (then called the International Cricket Conference), requesting ICC membership status for Bangladesh.
Reza-e-Karim drafts the first constitution of the BCCB and in May 1977 invites the MCC to Bangladesh. In June 1976, the membership of Bangladesh is discussed in an ICC meeting. The meeting decides to finalise Bangladesh’s membership status after the MCC tours Bangladesh.
The MCC arrives at Dhaka for their first Bangladesh tour on 27 December 1976 and helps build the enthusiasm; over 40,000 people attend the representative match at Dacca.
D. Asian Cricket Council: Associate Member (1977-1983):
On 26 July, 1977, Bangladesh becomes an Associate member of the I.C.C.
The BCCB seeks coaching help from the MCC. The MCC sends Bangladesh her first foreign cricket coach, an Englishman named Robert Jones.
1978: In January, Sri Lanka, yet to be a test team, tours Bangladesh. In December, the MCC arrives in Bangladesh for the second time in a tour that lasts until 14 January 1979.
1979: Bangladesh appears in the first ICC trophy in England. Bangladeshis win matches against Fiji and Malaysia.
1980: In January, Pakistan tours Bangladesh for a 2-day match in Chittagong and a 3-day sellout match in Dacca.
1980/81: The MCC tours Bangladesh for the third time.
1982: An Indian first-class team, the Hyderabad Blues, boasting five Indian test players, visits Bangladesh in January.
In May–July 1982, Bangladesh takes part in its second ICC trophy competition and finishes fourth among sixteen national teams.
E. Asian Cricket Council: Full Member (1983-2000):
1983: In March 1983, a West Bengal team tours Bangladesh. In December, Bangladesh follows up with a visit to the Indian state.
1984: In January 1984, Bangladesh hosts the first ever South-East Asia Cup; Singapore and Hong Kong participate. Bangladesh beats Hong Kong in the final to take the trophy.
In February, Bangladesh team tours Kenya for the first time.
Having returned from Kenya, in late February, Bangladesh hosts a series of cricket matches with Pakistan’s PIA and India’s the Hyderabad Blues.
1985: The Sri Lankan test team visits Bangladesh in March for a three-day match in Dhaka.
1986: In January 1986, the Omar Kureishi XI containing Pakistani Test cricketers visits Bangladesh.
In March 1986, Bangladesh takes part in the Second Asia Cup in Sri Lanka, and plays its first ever One Day International match against Pakistan (Bangladesh was still not a full member of ICC). The tournament gives Bangladesh players international exposure.
In June 1986, Bangladesh flies to England to take part in the third ICC trophy.
Earlier in the year, Bangladesh toured Pakistan for the first time.
1988: In January, Bangladesh takes part and wins the second South-East Asia trophy, defeating Hong Kong.
The Third Asia Cup takes place in Bangladesh in October–November 1988 with India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka participating as well as the host country.
1989: In August–September, Bangladesh U-19 team tours England.
In December 1989, Bangladesh hosts the First Under-19 Asia Cup.
1990: The Decan Blues, captained by Syed Kirmani, tours Bangladesh in January and February. On 4 February 1990, pyjama cricket comes to Bangladesh, as the first ever day-night match is played in the Dhaka Stadium between BCCB U-25 and the Deccan Blues.
In February 1990, a team from Denmark tours Bangladesh.
In March 1990, Pakistan and India takes part in a two-match series. Bangladesh, the host country, is a surprising absentee.
In April 1990, Bangladesh takes part in the Australasia Cup in Sharjah and plays against New Zealand and Australia for the first time in group matches.
In June 1990, Bangladesh participates in the fourth ICC trophy held in Holland. Bangladesh finishes third in the tournament, losing in the semifinal against eventual champions Zimbabwe.
In December 1990, Bangladesh visits India to take part in the fourth Asia Cup cricket along with India and Sri Lanka.
1992: West Bengal visits Bangladesh in February. A little-known West Bengal batsman Saurav Ganguly scores a century and a half-century to help West Bengal prevail in both matches.
In June, Bangladesh takes part in the third South East Asia cup and wins the trophy again by defeating Hong Kong.
In December 1992, Bangladesh hosts the first SAARC cricket tournament. But the tournament comes to an abrupt end with two matches to go, as tensions in Dhaka rise after the Babri mosque incident.
1993: In March–April 1993, the Karachi Airport Gymkhana team tours Bangladesh.
1994: Bangladesh takes part in the fifth ICC Trophy and fails to qualify for the semifinals. In December, Dhaka hosts the 2nd SAARC cricket tournament. Bangladesh finishes runners up after losing the final to India ‘A’.
1996: IN September, Bangladesh takes part and wins the ACC Cup in KL, Malaysia.
1997: Bangladesh wins the Sixth ICC trophy in Malaysia. Bangladesh also becomes a regular ICC member with the right to play One Day Internationals. Earlier, (in Feb), Dhaka hosted the 3rd & final SAARC cricket tournament.
1998: Bangladesh posts its first ODI win against Kenya in India. In October, Bangladesh hosts (although did not participate in) the first ever “Mini World Cup”, a knock-out ODI tournament featuring all the test playing nations.
1999: Bangladesh performs in the 7th Cricket World Cup in England. In a group match, Bangladesh defeats Pakistan.
1999–2000: A new first-class format National League is launched. The home and away tournament has divisional teams from Dhaka, Chittagong, Sylhet, Khulna, Barisal and Rajshahi.
F. Bangladesh’s Test Era (2000-Present)
2000: Bangladesh attains the status of a test playing country on 26 June. Bangladesh’s inaugural Test match takes place in Dhaka against touring India on 10–14 November 2000
2004: In December, Bangladesh defeats World Cup Runners-up India at the Bangabandhu National Stadium in Dhaka, It was Bangladesh’s overall sixth win in one-dayers, but the first ODI victory on home soil.
2005: In January, Bangladesh records their maiden test victory with a thumping 226 runs win over Zimbabwe. This was the 35th test for Bangladesh. Bangladesh team also secures its first ever Test and ODI series wins.
In June, Bangladesh defeats world champions Australia in a Natwest Series ODI match. Mohammad Ashraful is the hero with a run-a-ball century.
2007: In the 2007 Cricket World Cup on 17 March 2007, Bangladesh beat India by a 5 wicket margin to advance to the Super 8 stage, where they beat South Africa by a 67-run margin on 7 April 2007.
2009: Bangladesh whitewashes West Indies in both Tests and ODIs in West Indies.
2010: Bangladesh whitewashes New Zealand 4-0 in an ODI series and stamps their authority prior to the upcoming World Cup at home.
2011: Bangladesh gets knocked out of the first round of the World Cup 2011.
2012: Bangladesh beats West Indies 3-2 in an ODI series at home.
2013: Bangladesh draws Test series against Zimbabwe abroad and against New Zealand at home. Bangladesh whitewashes New Zealand 3-0 in ODIs.