One final burst of firecrackers at the Sher-e Bangla Stadium brought the curtains down on a part of the World Cup, being jointly hosted by India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. This is where it all began 36 days ago with a gala opening ceremony, which sparked a celebration of cricket that was spontaneous, fantastic and, at times, hysterical.
Bangladesh failed to make it to the knockout stages but the fans did not reject the Cup. A capacity crowd for the Pakistan-West Indies quarterfinal was understandable, but no one had expected a full house for the South Africa-New Zealand tie on Friday.
A visibly pleased tournament director, Ratnakar Shetty, said here that, “A lot of people thought there would be no takers for matches not featuring the home team.
“But we’ve had a very good response in those matches as well, mainly in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. The subcontinent is where cricket belongs.”
The Bangladesh leg of the World Cup may be over but cricket isn’t. Australia arrive here on April 4, following which Bangladesh will tour Zimbabwe.
The West Indies and Sri Lanka are scheduled to tour the country in the second half of the year.
And just to keep the cricket buzz going, Bangladesh will have renewed interest in following the fourth edition of the Indian Premier League where skipper Shakib Al Hasan will turn out for the Kolkata Knight Riders.
But then, it will not be the same. The decoration, the cutouts and the huge hoardings, welcoming cricket travellers, will not be there.
And so would the streets, full of the youngsters dancing to the tune of ‘De Ghuma Ke’.