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The second Liberation for Bangladesh

cricket Updated: Jan 07, 2010 01:12 IST
Nilankur Das
Nilankur Das
Hindustan Times
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Former Bangladesh skipper Akram Khan is a selector and a businessman now. Khan, whose most memorable moment came in 1997 when he led Bangladesh to win the ICC Trophy, is joint owner of a travel agency with a fleet of 14 luxury buses that ply to and from different parts of the country.

“It's a business owned with Ashish Bhadra," he said. Bhadra is a former captain of the Bangladesh football team.

It’s difficult to miss how his eyes light up when asked about the reception he got. “It was a surprise. We were taken in a bus from the airport to the Parliament Street where the reception was given. There were more than a lakh fans waiting for us. The money, the felicitations followed but nothing could beat the feeling. People told us they had not seen such a gathering since Bangladesh was liberated in 1971.”

Conversation inevitably veers to the death of Raman Lamba, a year after Khan's highest point in life. “That was the lowest,” says Khan, who was Lamba’s skipper in that fateful game. “There were 40,000 people at the ground. Raman was fielding at midwicket and he came running down and told me he wanted to field at forward short-leg to put pressure on the batsman. I told Raman bhai to get a helmet to which he turned around and said nothing happened in 15 years, what can happen in a ball? The left-arm spinner dropped it short and he got a full-blooded shot,” he said.