By Qaiser Mohammad Ali
Dhaka : The Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium was decked up with flowers and balloons Friday, when it became Bangladesh's sixth, and the world's 95th, Test venue.
There was a festive air with colourful balloons tied all around the stadium being released into the air just before the second India-Bangladesh Test started. Some stands near the two teams' dressing rooms and in front of the VIP enclosure were decorated too.
Free entry for school students
The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) has allowed local school students free entry into the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium for the five-day match. The only condition is that they should be in school uniform and must carry their identity cards.
But even this did not fill up the 40,000-capacity stadium with only a few thousand people turning up in the morning. Organisers had also tried to bring in crowds by selling the tickets Friday and Saturday, both local weekly holidays, through the Arab Bangladesh Bank branches in Mirpur and Gulshan areas.
National poet's birth anniversary celebrated
Bangladesh Friday celebrated the 108th birth anniversary of its national poet Kazi Nazrul Islam. Popularly called the "Bidrohi Kobi", or rebel poet, Islam was also a musician, a revolutionary and a philosopher whose most popular works are in Bengali.
Born May 25, 1899, Nazrul Islam was initially a muezzin at a local mosque before switching to poetry, drama, and literature. He also worked as a journalist in Calcutta, now Kolkata, following a stint with the Indian Army.
Television channels Friday ran special programmes, remembering and reciting some of Islam's most popular works, like "Bidrohi", "Bhangar Gaan" and "Dhumketu", through which he called upon people to join the revolution against the British Raj.
The Bangladesh government had invited him and his family to the country and he settled down here in 1972. He died four years later on Aug 29, 1976.