Tigers' home of cricket to cross 100 ODIs without fanfare

Tigers’ home of cricket to cross 100 ODIs without fanfare

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Dhaka – The Sri Lanka-Zimbabwe game on January 17 of the upcoming tri-series will be the 100th ODI played at the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium (SBNCS) in Mirpur, reaching the milestone in just over 11 years as the country’s principal venue for international cricket.Originally built as a football venue in the late 1980s, it was taken over by the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) in 2004 and following extensive renovation, hosted its 1st ODI in March 2006 with a capacity of 25,000 people.Mirpur stadium is more than just a cricket venue — it is Bangladesh’s ‘Home of Cricket’ in every sense of the term, and transforms into a daunting fortress when the stands are packed, the pitch is turning and the Tigers are winning.It has very smoothly taken over from the more celebrated Bangabandhu National Stadium (BNS), which used to be the spiritual home of Bangladesh cricket just 15 years ago, and gradually become a one-stop shop for every cricketing need.There was much distrust among cricket officials, players and fans while the move was being made. Some thought it was jealousy on the part of the football bosses, while others doubted whether cricket had any friends in the government.But within a year or two, they forgot about the BNS, although in 2009 some BCB directors made a push for some of the 2011 ICC World Cup matches to be played there, and in the event the opening ceremony was held there.The venue houses with two practice ground facilities and the board headquarters, apart from the high-class stadium that hardly anyone has complained about. Players and coaches are fond of the ground and the big dressing rooms; fans love the cleaner, more accessible stands while the journalists laud the press box.Of the 98 ODIs played at this venue, the Tigers themselves have appeared in 82 (winning 38, losing 43 and one no result) . But there is no arrangement from the BCB to celebrate the landmark.”A day out from the start of the tri-series, there are no celebrations planned, as is usually the case with every big and small milestone in Bangladesh cricket,” reports Espncricinfo on Sunday.The venue hosted matches of the world events during the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011, ICC World Twenty20 2104 and the ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup 2016.Among the five other stadiums — Sharjah Cricket Stadium, Sydney Cricket Ground, Melbourne Cricket Ground, Harare Sports Club and R Premadasa Stadium – – that have reached this landmark, Mirpur is set to become the fastest to do it.UNB news agency

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