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A history of cricket

Cricket in Bangladesh

Cricket has been played in Bangladesh for nearly 200 years, having been introduced by the British rulers.

Following the bloody freedom struggle which ended in Bangladesh gaining independence in 1971, cricket has continued to grow. It was slow to start, other things having priority at the beginning. Early in 1975 the Dhaka (then "Dacca") stadium was in disrepair, the square having sunk several inches and the the Press Club shell-torn.

The MCC tour in 1976-77 helped to build the enthusiasm, over 40,000 people attending the representative match at Dhaka. In 1977 Bangladesh became an Associate member of the I.C.C. Two further MCC teams toured in 1978-79 and 1980-81.

The standard of cricket quickly rose, and soon Bangladesh was the top ICC associate country in the region, winning all ACC tournaments. This gave them the opportunity to play in the Asia Cup, against teams like India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

The Third Asia Cup took place in Bangladesh in 1988 with India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka participating as well as the host country. In 1989/90 Bangladesh played hosts to the First Under-19 Asia Cup.

In 1997, Bangladesh won the ICC Trophy in Malaysia, qualifying for its first ever World Cup appearance. Soon after, Bangladesh, along with Kenya were granted full ODI status by the ICC. Bangladesh posted their first ODI win against Kenya in India in 1998.

In October of 1998, Bangladesh hosted (although they did not participate) the first ever "Mini World Cup", a knock-out basis ODI tournament featuring all the test playing nations. In 1999, in their maiden appearance at the World Cup in England, Bangladesh defeated fellow ICC associate Scotland, and then pulled off the upset of the tournament against favorites Pakistan.

The 1999-2000 season saw the launch of a new first-class format National League, which was highly successful. The home and away tournament had divisional teams from Dhaka, Chittagong, Sylhet, Khulna, Barisal and Rajshahi.

In 2001 Bangladesh, with the enthusiastic support of Jagmohan Dalmiya, the ICC president and the powerhouse behind Indian cricket, were granted Test status, thei inaugural match being against India.

The Bangladesh Cricket Control Board (BCCB) has overall responsibility for cricket in the country. There are National Championships and senior, youth and school level with all 64 districts, the universities and services eligible to take part. Over 250 teams compete in the National School championships.

Contributed by Peter Griffiths (

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Date-stamped : 23 Dec1999 - 19:11