By Qaiser Mohammad Ali
Dhaka : Mahendra Singh Dhoni, the man with the long locks, is not only popular in India. His following in Bangladesh is no less, and it is visible everywhere he goes. With Sachin Tendulkar not in the team for the ODI series, Dhoni is easily the most sought after Indian player.
Fans, both males and females, pester him to sign autographs and pose for photographs, and they discuss about him in restaurants too.
A local family that went to Dhaka Sheraton hotel for dinner bumped into Dhoni as he was taking "a stroll" in the hotel shopping centre along with his teammates.
They took Dhoni's autograph and clicked his photo on their mobile phone and later chatted excitedly about the debonair wicket-keeper over meal.
Indian auto-rickshaws in Dhaka
A large number of Indian-made three-wheeler auto rickshaws ply on Dhaka roads. These Bajaj-made autos, driven on compressed natural gas (CNG), are the lifeline of Delhi and other Indian cities. They are being imported here for the past many years.
"Bangladesh has been importing these autos since 2000," said an auto-rickshaw driver. The only difference here is that they are painted green, In Delhi, they are painted green and yellow.
Sri Lanka is another country that imports these Bajaj autos in large numbers. But Sri Lankans have no uniform colour policy and they paint them whichever colour they want.
Bangladeshi players distribute match tickets
Besides matching up to expectations to perform well in the ongoing series against India, the Bangladeshi players also have to oblige their relatives and friends by giving them match tickets.
The players get complimentary match tickets all around the world, and the local players are always under pressure to give tickets to their friends and acquaintances.
Opening batsman Javed Omar, for instance, was seen handing over some tickets to a family that turned up at the team hotel Friday evening and also treating them to soft drinks.
Furniture market in stadium
That most stadiums rent out shops built under the stands is nothing unusual. But what is interesting at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur, Dhaka, is that most of the occupants of the shops make and sell furniture.
These shops sell both wooden and steel furniture. The others deal in electronic goods, and there are a few tailoring shops too. The income from these shops is used to maintain the stadium.
During the matches all the shops are closed. The markets just outside the stadium, however, are open and they do roaring business on match days.