By Qaiser Mohammad Ali
Dhaka : Mohammad Quamruzzaman was a Class 10 student when he watched the India-Pakistan Test in 1955 here at the Bangabandhu Stadium, then called Dacca Stadium.
He still remembers the match vividly. It was the first in undivided Pakistan.
"That match was played on a matting wicket. I bought a student ticket for one and half taka for the four-day match. A ticket for the other stands cost five takas," Quamruzzaman, 66, told IANS while watching the second India-Bangladesh Test Saturday.
He said the stadium was packed. "The Statesman newspaper reported that '20,000 strong crowd was present' on all days of the match."
He recalled seeing former India fast bowler Mohammad Nissar and Pakistani speedster Fazal Mahmood, who were invited for the historic match.
Quamruzzaman also remembers Pankaj Gupta, the efficient Indian organiser who was especially invited by the Dhaka organisers for the match.
"He was a unique man as he was the manager of the Indian cricket, hockey and football teams. But basically, he was a football man," he said.
Reading newspapers off the walls!
Those who cannot afford to buy newspapers in Bangladesh can still read them for free. They just have to go to select places where the day's papers are pasted on the walls!
So early in the morning, people can often be seen facing the walls at several places in Dhaka.
"This is a very old phenomenon. I am 41 and I have been watching this for 30 years. These papers are up on the walls between 6 and 7 every day without fail," said Arifur Rahman Babu, a cricket enthusiast.
"These papers are pasted by different groups. Several youth groups, NGOs and charities also put up papers in at least 1,000 places in Dhaka alone," he said.
Scorers' contribution to Bangladesh cricket
There are about 50 scorers recognised by the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB), and some of them serve full time in this demanding profession. These scorers are divided into two groups – Grade A and B – and paid accordingly.
Grade A scorer gets 2,000 takas a day for keeping the score in the three top domestic tournaments – Premier League, National League and First Division matches. A Grade B scorer earns 1,500 takas.
For a day of work during a Test match or One-day International, a scorer gets 3,000 takas. They also get travel and daily allowances.
After having kept the score for a minimum of three and half years in domestic matches, a scorer can appear for the gradation exams – written and viva voice – to earn his grade A.