Thursday, November 24, 2011

Bangladesh attains ODI status in women’s cricket

SALEEM SAMAD

Bangladesh’s women cricket team on Thursday confirmed their one-day-international (ODI) status by thrashing United States in an International Cricket Council Women’s World Cup Qualifier game.

The win secures their ODI status, ICC media and communications officer Lucy Benjamin told reporters.

Bangladesh’s dream of playing the Women’s World Cup was, however, dented through conceding a six-wicket defeat against Sri Lanka in a playoff match Tuesday.

Jubilant spectators at the cricket ground at the fringe of capital Dhaka were treated to an impressive all-round display by the hosts who recorded an emphatic nine-wicket win over U.S. in a fifth place semi-final play-off match.

Skipper Doris Francis top scored for the U.S. with an 85-ball 23 with 22 extras being the next best scorer as eight American batswomen failed to reach double figures.

Before registering the victory in an easy chase, Bangladesh bowlers restricted the USA to a paltry 78 runs.

Player of the match Khadiza Tul Kubra continued her sensational form with the ball as she picked up four vital wickets for 20 runs.

A solid second-wicket partnership between Suktara Rahman and Farjana Hoque guided Bangladesh to a comfortable win in less than 18.5 overs. The two scored 29 and 27 respectively.

For a conservative Sunni Muslim majoritarian Bangladesh, the media coverage of the winning women’s cricket team has been seriously observed by the Muslim clerics and Islamist parties. They propagate that Muslim women should strictly abide by Sharia rules, wearing modestly, meaning wearing Hijab and should always have a male companion.

Saleem Samad, an Ashoka Fellow is an award winning investigative journalist based in Bangladesh. He specializes on Islamic terrorism, forced migration, good governance and elective democracy. He has recently returned from exile from Canada after return of democracy. He could be reached at saleemsamad@hotmail.com