By Mehran Shamit
TORONTO, Canada – At a time when my homeland of Bangladesh fell into despair, because our leaders could no longer give us anything to hope for or believe in, Bangladesh got into the Asia Cup final.
But Bangladesh was left heartbroken after coming extremely close to winning the Asia Cup in an electrifying match with Pakistan at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur, Dhaka.
Bangladesh’s dream of winning the Asia Cup for the first time ever in the history of cricket was shattered after a 2-run loss to Pakistan, a nation that has now captured the prize for the second time.
This tournament was historic for Bangladesh. It’s the first time Bangladesh – after fearlessly beating the current world champions India and Sri Lanka – qualified for the Asia Cup final.
Even though Bangladesh was defeated in the most painful and heartbreaking circumstances, we need to acknowledge the outstanding performances of the Bangladeshi players in this tournament and give them the recognition that they deserve.
Cricket may seem like just a sport to some, but it is a huge deal for Bangladeshis.
The entire country was hoping for a win and I cannot begin to describe how extremely painful and emotional it was for me and all other Bangladeshis to watch our country get defeated by only two runs, the narrowest victory-margin ever at the Asia Cup.
People in the stadium, including the Bangladeshi players, were in tears. After seeing my country lose in such a close match it was very difficult for me to resist my own tears. Yes, it would be amazing to see Bangladesh win its biggest victory in cricketing history on home soil, but we cannot keep worrying about what should have been done to win the Asia Cup.
Beating world champions and becoming the second best cricket team in Asia is a huge accomplishment and Bangladeshis have to remember that. Throughout the entire tournament Bangladesh played tremendously well with strong results and really proved their skills.
There were many highlights for Bangladesh at this tournament. Among the highlights of this match, Tamim Iqbal became the first batsman ever to score four half-centuries in a row at the Asia Cup and Shakib Al Hasan scored three half-centuries.
Shakib Al Hasan then went on to win the Player of the Tournament award for his impressive overall performance in the Asia Cup. Bangladesh skipper Mushfiqur Rahim also did a very good job of leading the team in this tournament.
Bangladesh’s impressive performance gave the heavyweights a run for their money and this will definitely leave a lasting impression.
Coming into the tournament as the underdog, Bangladesh proved that its cricket team is truly one of the world’s elite. The way that the players performed showed a completely different side of Bangladeshi cricket and the new heights it is capable of reaching.
Bangladesh will certainly never be regarded as a lightweight contender again.
This tournament marks a new era for Bangladeshi cricket and we should look forward to exceptional performances like this from Bangladesh in all the coming matches and tournaments.
Bangladeshi players should be very proud of what they have achieved and know that they have brought tremendous pride to all Bangladeshis. No matter what the result is, we believe in you and will always support you.
Pakistan may have won the Asia Cup, but Bangladeshi players won the hearts of millions of people and brought pride to our country.
Our team did not let us down, but made us proud on an international scale.
This defeat is only the beginning for Bangladesh. Next time we will be the champions, whether it is Asia or the World.