Bangladesh drop brickbats, dance for joy after big win
Thousands of fans poured on to the streets of Bangladesh in a late night spontaneous display of joy on Friday, heralding a Cricket World Cup win by the same team many had abused just a week earlier.cricket Updated: Mar 12, 2011 13:09 IST
Thousands of fans poured on to the streets of Bangladesh in a late night spontaneous display of joy on Friday, heralding a Cricket World Cup win by the same team many had abused just a week earlier.
After Bangladesh had crashed to a nine-wicket defeat to the West Indies seven days ago in Dhaka, authorities were forced to lay on extra security after some fans had stoned the Caribbean side's bus mistaking it for the home players' vehicle.
Such was the anger around the country, even Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina had to step in, ordering fans to behave themselves.
Following Friday's famous two-wicket surprise win over England in Chittagong, however, memories of last week's ugly scenes quickly evaporated.
Instead of keeping a baying mob away from Shakib Al Hasan's men, the security teams were now more concerned with shielding the skipper from the embraces of jubilant fans.
As the winning boundary was struck, more than 18,000 spectators at the Zahur Ahmed Stadium in the south-eastern city leapt up as one in pure ecstasy.
Bangladeshi journalists hugged each other in the press box and so did the burly security men who moments earlier had been barely capable of watching the tense finish.
Soon the stadium, which many home spectators had deserted shortly before the end fearing defeat to England, was rocking to the sound of hollering fans, beating drums and vuvuzela horns.
Several policemen joined in the celebrations, dancing to the musicians' beat.
"I never thought Bangladesh could win but they have again proved they can," said one over-excited media man. "Allah can help if he wants," smiled another.
Throughout the port city of Chittagong, fans rushed out on to the streets to celebrate only the country's second ever ODI win against three-time World Cup finalists, England.
Despite the change in mood of the Bangladeshi fans from last Friday's heavy defeat, security remained tight although the crowds were more high-spirited than boisterous.
"There was no frenzy and the celebrations were orderly as fans know that any frenzied behaviour will damage their cricket," Rafay Nizam, a former media manager of local organising committee in Chittagong told Reuters.
"I am satisfied today, the hard toil in getting tickets, and coming to the stadium passing all the security cordons will be forgotten," Farzana Haque, 18, a college student, who came to watch the match with her brother, told Reuters.
"Fans are marching in joy," Mohammad Gias, a taxi driver told Reuters by telephone from a Chittagong street.
There were reports of similar scenes throughout the country in which many of its 160 million live in poverty but is one of the most cricket-mad countries in the world.
"I'm just waiting for the moment when we go to the bus and see people dancing around. It's a different thing for us to win against England," said Tamim Iqbal, vice-captain of the Bangladesh team.