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All you need to know ahead of Tigers` Centenary Test

By UNB, DHAKA
15th-Mar-2017       
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Bangladesh Cricket Team will step toward a milestone of playing their historic 100th Test match in the 2nd Test of the two-match Joy Bangla Cup Series taking on hosts Sri Lanka at P Sara Oval in Colombo.
Bangladesh team which played their inaugural Test as ICC full member against India in November 2000 under the leadership of all-rounder Naimur Rahman Durjoy at the Bangabandhu National Stadium in Dhaka, going to reach a milestone of playing 100th Test after 16th years under the leadership Mushfiqur Rahim.
The 18th Test battle between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka schedule to start today (Wednesday) at 10:30 am Bangladesh standard time.
During the period from November 2000 to March 20, 2017, the other Test playing nations England played 210, Australia 193, India 177, South Africa 164, West Indies 156, Sri Lanka 152, New Zealand 139, Pakistan 137 and Zimbabwe 56 matches.
The first Test run in the history of Bangladesh Cricket came from the bat of Mehrab Hossain where Bangladesh lost by nine wickets against India.
Aminul Islam Bulbul set a record scoring 145 runs in the match and becoming the 3rd cricketer to score a century in their maiden Test. Habibul Bashar hit maiden half century for Bangladesh making 71 runs.
Captain Naimur Rahman Durjoy also shining in the match grabbing six wickets for 132 runs to set another record of the second-best bowling figure for a country in maiden Test.
On the eve of 100th Test, Bangladesh captain of inaugural Naimur Rahman Durjoy in his reaction said, " Test cricket was then totally unknown one for us, we didn't play much first class cricket too before the day, Two or three cricketers including Bulbul bhai (Aminul Islam Bulbul) played first class in abroad, But domestic cricket structure was not supportive enough for the longer version cricket. I think then Indian cricket team was the best one we faced in the first match."
Former Bangladesh skipper Habibul Bashar Sumon became nostalgic when he was asked about the first Test, saying: "I played World Cup and also played some big big matches in ODI cricket, before the Test, but I'll play Test tomorrow, I'm going to be a Test player, nothing could be comparable with this excitement as because of the identity of Test cricketer. This identity is a big identity and all cricketers want this identity, ."
Former national spinner Mohammad Rafique said: "True to say, when we started to play Test, we used to make preplan that how we will score 300 runs in a match. Now a day's it has changed, now the target remains that how we will win."
Another spinner Enamul Haque Jr said: It was an wonderful (extraordinary) journey, because now Bangladesh is well known as the Test playing nation, we have got a mentionable numbers of good Test players too, but we could not move forward in an expected way. I think we are now in a right track."
All the four national cricketers unanimously endorsed that Bangladesh to make separate plan for the next 50 Tests, after the 100th one.
Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) President Nazmul Hasan Papon who leaves for Sri Lanka on Tuesday said, "We'll give Caps and blazers to the players and share some momentum there, including photo session. If Bangladesh win the match we will think to celebrate this at home."
BCB boss Nazmul was talking to journalists at Dhanmondi on Monday.
BCB Cricket Operations Committee chairman, Akram Khan who got the first Test cap for Bangladesh, said that during the start of his career, he could not even think to play Test. "I didn't think I'll play Test during my start of cricket career."
"Hope, one day Bangladesh will play like number one or number two team in the world rank. I feel proud that Bangladesh is going to play 100th Test. I thank all of them who support cricketers in this journey," Akram continued.
"They (who are playing in the Test) have the opportunity to give the nation something better in this match. If, Bangladesh can make a good result in this match; country's cricket loving people will keep them in mind for long," Akram concluded.
Till March 12, 2017, Bangladesh played 99 Tests, 53 matches at home and 46 in aboard and won only eight Test matches-- five against Zimbabwe, two against the West Indies and the maiden victory against Test elite England in October 2016.
Bangladesh settled for draw at home against New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, India and South Africa during November 2013 to November 2016.
After getting the Test status and full ICC membership in June 26 in 2000, Bangladesh had to wait till January 2005 for their maiden Test victory against Zimbabwe in the first match of the two-match series, under the head coach Dav Whatmore (2003-2007).
The Tigers tasted the first Test victory in the 35th match held at MA Aziz Stadium in Chittagong outplaying Zimbabwe by 226 runs with captain Habibul Bashar contributing 94 and 55 runs in two innings.
By securing a draw against Zimbabwe in the 2nd match at Bangabandhu National Stadium of that two-match series, the Tigers tasted the maiden Test series victory.
Bangladesh toured the West Indies in 2009 for a two-match series and clean swept the hosts by 2-0 margin to secure the maiden overseas series victory. At home, Bangladesh whitewashed Zimbabwe 3-0 in November -December 2014.
Bangladesh played draw thrice against Zimbabwe and Newzealand each, twice against India, Sri Lnaka, South Africa and West Indies each while one against Pakistan.
Till the day, Bangladesh played matches -- against Australia (4), England (10), India (9), New Zealand (13), Pakistan (10), South Africa (10), Sri Lanka(17), West Indies (12) and Zimbabwe (14) -- where they secured eight victories, 15 draws and 76 losses.
Akram Khan got the first Test cap for Bangladesh while Nurul Hasan is the last one among the 85 cricketers.
Bangladesh got nine Test captains -- Naimur Rahman (2000/1-2002; for seven matches), Khaled Mashud (2001/2-2004/5; for 12 matches), Khaled Mahmud ( 2003-4; for nine matches), Habibul Bashar (2003/3 - 2007; for 18 matches), Mohammad Ashraful (2007/8- 2008/9; for 13 matches), Mashrafe Mortaza (for one match against west Indies in 2009), Shakib Al Hasan (2009-20011; for nine matches), Mushfiqur Rahim (2011- current, captained in 27 matches) and Tamim Iqbal(captained in one match against Newzealand in Januery 2017) -- during the period over the 16 years.
In March 2001, former Australian Test cricketer Trevor Chappell was appointed coach. The other head coaches the Tigers got are: Dav Whatmore (2003-2007), Jamie Siddons (2007-2011), Stuart Law (2011-2012), Shane Jurgensen (2013-2014) and Chandika Hathurusingha (2014-Current).

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