The jersey is the best way to exhibit our national colours
he Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping had said it doesn’t matter if a cat is white or black, as long as it catches mice. His philosophy relates to many things and ensues debates from a wide range of philosophical aspects.
We can relate it to our current debate on democracy and development. To many, democracy is the prime concern. They think development is jeoparadized in the absence of good governance. Only standard democracy can ensure good governing.
However, today we are not to talk about democracy and development. Our point is colour.
It is said that if you are colour blind, you have difficulty distinguishing certain colours. It is a physical vision deficiency.
Despite such blindness, you can recognize a colour with your spirit in regards to national colours. Here comes the question of mental or philosophical colour blindness.
Does anyone here suffer from that? If someone does not suffer from that blindness, how can one forget that the name of Bangladesh is linked to two major colours -- red and green?
Perhaps this is what happened in the case of the national cricket team’s jersey for the World Cup in England and Wales.
Cricket is something more for most Bangladeshis. Bangladeshis eat cricket, drink cricket, dream cricket because it keeps the national flag atop in the world, particularly in the world of sports.
So, when they cheer for Mashrafe or Shakib, they do not cheer only for the stars or their favourite players or the cricket team as a whole.
They also cheer for Bangladesh and Bangladesh’s red and green national flag.
Obviously, performance is crucial. But, the jersey is the best way to exhibit the national colours -- be it on the field by the players or at the galleries where thousands of spectators wear the jersey and carry the giant national flags.
One may argue: What is the difference between having and not having the national colour on the jersey? At the end of the day, it is the Bangladesh team who represents Bangladesh. It can also be argued that there are teams with jerseys which do not reflect the national colours.
Here is the difference between Bangladesh and many other countries. Bangladesh is a country born through a bloody war. The green symbolizes the greenery of Bangladesh and red the sacrifice.
Except those who do not want to remember the sacrifices for obvious reasons, every Bangladeshi gets the impression of red and green when he or she utters the word Bangladesh. So, the World Cup jersey of the cricket team came as an utter surprise.
Soon after glimpses of the official photos of the national team surfaced, there was the immediate question on social media: Where has the red gone from the national team jersey?
The red is such an emotional matter for Bangladeshis that its absence hurt them. Facebook last Monday witnessed tens of thousands of posts on the jersey, criticizing the board and designer.
Good sense eventually prevailed -- the BCB finally decided to withdraw the green jersey and go for a new one that will reflect the national colours and sentiment.
Thanks to the BCB, despite their initial wrong decision of opting for not the most ideal of jersey designs.
They should be more careful about such matters in the future. They should also be cautious in selecting designers seem to have no idea what Bangladesh means to Bangladeshis.
Zahid Newaz Khan is Chief News Editor (CNE) of Channel i and Editor of Channel i Online. He was a co-author of ICC’s official publication of 1999 Cricket World Cup.