BSS-39 Govt making every effort for improvement of Bangladesh cricket: PM





Govt making every effort for improvement of Bangladesh cricket: PM

KOLKATA, Nov 22, 2019 (BSS) – Describing cricket as one of the binding forces between the people of Bangladesh and India, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today hoped India would continue its support for the development of Bangladesh cricket as her government has been striving for improvement of the game.

“At present cricket is the most popular game in Bangladesh as it is in India. We have laid much effort to improve the game. I hope, India would continue to help Bangladesh for the development of cricket,” she said.

The premier said this while joining a short cultural function that was followed by a felicitation programme arranged by the Cricket Association of Bengal at the ground of the Eden Gardens Stadium here.

Noting that the multi-faceted relationship between Bangladesh and India has reached a new height in the last decade, she said, “Cricket is another binding force between the people of our two countries.”

The premier sincerely hoped that the deep ties of friendship that exists between Bangladesh and India will continue to grow and flourish in the coming days.

She went on saying, “Bangladesh and India share identical history, culture, language, sports and other unique commonalities. We have also shed blood together for our Liberation War in 1971.”

The premier said that Bangladesh Bhaban at Santiniketan is yet another milestone of the growing cultural ties between the neighbours which she along with her Indian Counterpart Narendra Modi and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Benerjee jointly inaugurated last year.

She said Bangabandhu visited Kolkata on February 6 in 1972, on his first overseas tour to India and stated, “—We have a very special relationship with India. The relationship is the friendliest. Friendship of Bangladesh and India is in our hearts. The bonds of relationship will remain firm and long standing—.”

The premier said that this is still the guiding principle of Bangladesh-India relations, adding, “Today our relationship has become a role model of good neighborliness for the rest of the world.”

Sheikh Hasina expressed her gratitude to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BCCI President Sourav Ganguly for inviting her to enjoy Bangladesh-India historic day-night match at the Eden Gardens.

In this context she said, “Today is the memorable day for the cricket lovers in both Bangladesh and India. —I am sure we will have many more similar and happy occasions in the days ahead.”

She also thanked all for extending excellent hospitality to them.

The premier recalled the memory of Bangabandhu in Kolkata and said, “The greatest Bangalee of all times, Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman has spent an important part of his student life in Kolkata. He stayed at the Bekar Hostel when he was studying at Islami College between 1945 and 1946.

Stating that despite being a young team, Bangladesh has a record of winning ICC trophy in 1997, she said Bangladesh has hosted many international competitions including ICC World Cup matches.

The premier recalled the first match of Bangladesh against India at Bangabandhu National Stadium in Dhaka in 2000 when the present BCCI President Sourav Ganguly was the captain of the Indian Team.

Sheikh Hasina, also elder daughter of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman under whose leadership Bangladesh achieved independence after a nine-month struggle against Pakistani occupation forces, recalled the contribution of India and its people to this endavour.

“We remember the enourmous contribution that the government of India and its people, especially the people of West Bengal. At that time a number of critical activities were mobilized and carried out from West Bengal, particularly from Kolkata with the support of people of India,” she said.

Governor of West Bengal Jagdeep Dhankar, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Benarjee, BCCI President Sourav Ganguly, Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) President Nazmul Hassan, cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar, and other cricket legends of both the countries were present on the occasion.