The Bangladesh Cricket Board celebrated the nation’s 10 years of Test cricket with a colourful ceremony at the Bangladesh Army Stadium on Saturday.
The programme turned out to be the biggest gathering of current and former cricketers who represented Bangladesh in Test and other forms of international cricket.
One of the major attractions of the programme was the unveiling of Test Cap, a tradition of Test cricket which Bangladesh never followed in the past.
A newly-designed Test Cap was presented to all 59 cricketers, who played Tests for Bangladesh so far. The members of the inaugural Test were the first to receive the cap, led by their skipper Naimur Rahman.
A total of 12 cricketers of the inaugural Test against India were on the podium to receive their caps with Akram Khan and Al Shahriar only missing it. Akram is currently on a personal tour in Thailand while Shahriar has settled in New Zealand.
The other cricketers followed them to receive their caps, something which is regarded as the lifetime achievement of a cricketer.
A pall of gloom descended on the ground when former skipper Habibul Bashar went to receive the cap on behalf of Manzarul Islam, the only Bangladeshi Test cricketer who is not alive.
After a series of speeches the celebration began with video projector showing the sweetest moments of Bangladesh’s Test cricket which included the century of Aminul Islam in the inaugural Test, 100th Test wicket of Mohammad Rafique, Mohammad Ashraful’s highest ever Test innings against India, the winning six of Sakib al Hasan against the West Indies and the century of Tamim Iqbal at Lord’s.
It was followed by the presentation of Test cap and a choreographic show performed by Sadhana Dance Group. Six of the Bangladesh’s seven Test captains came onto the podium with Mashrafee bin Murtaza, who went Sri Lanka to see his doctor last night, being the only absentee.
Hundreds of spectators who bought tickets to watch the programme, however, chanted slogans at one stage demanding his inclusion in World Cup squad.
The celebration was followed by cultural programme performed by different band groups.
Earlier, BCB president AHM Mustafa Kamal announced they will give Tk 50 lakh, one fourth of Tk 2 crore they received from sponsor of the event Grameenphone, to 25 cricketers for their wellbeing.
Finance minister Abul Mal Abdul Muhith attended the programme as chief guest.