The Victory Day Exhibition Twenty20 cricket match between Shaheed Mushtaque XI and Shaheed Jewel XI was held on Friday in Mirpur’s Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in remembrance of the two martyrs who gave their life during the liberation war in 1971.
Cricket’s governing body in the country has been arranging the exhibition match every year to pay tribute to valiant freedom fighters Shaheed Abdul Halim Chowdhury Jewel and Shaheed Mushtaque Ahmed, who both used to play the sport. Shaheed Jewel and Shaheed Mushtaque both lost their lives during the war.
Former cricketers Akram Khan, Minhajul Abedin Nannu, Habibul Bashar, Naimur Rahman MP, Mohammad Rafique, Khaled Mahmud Sujon, Hasibul Hossain Shanto, Khaled Mashud Pilot, Faruk Ahmed, Mehrab Hossain Opi and Aminul Islam Bulbul, among others, were divided into two teams.
“During the 1970s, it was difficult to play cricket for Bangladeshi people. But people like Shaheed Jewel and Shaheed Mushtaque contributed so much to cricket at that time. I believe those efforts have great significance in Bangladesh cricket. I have played every year in the Victory Day cricket and I feel so proud to take part. It is a chance to show respect to our freedom fighters and martyrs who sacrificed their lives for Bangladesh”, said former Bangladesh captain Akram.
Meanwhile, chief national selector Minhajul, who was later adjudged player of the match, said, “It is a prestigious match for us. I have played in every Victory Day match since I started my career. I feel honoured to take part in this match as I am also a son of a martyr. We are deeply remembering Shaheed Mushtaque and Shaheed Jewel, along with the other freedom fighters, for their bravery in the war.”
“In the past, current players took part in the victory match. But now ex-cricketers are taking part. It becomes a reunion for many former players. But the main theme is to show respect to the bravest souls of the nation – the freedom fighters. We are living in a free nation because of their bravery and sacrifice. We are showing our deepest honour and gratitude to all the freedom fighters, including Shaheed Jewel and Shaheed Mushtaque, through this match.” said Naimur.
Shaheed Mushtaque XI defeated Shaheed Jewel XI by six wickets.
Shaheed Mushtaque XI 146/4 in 19.2 overs
(Minhajul 48*, Naimur 38, Moni 1-17, Aminul 1-20) beat Shaheed Jewel XI 145/5 in 20 overs
(Aminul 34, Hasanuzzaman 27, Rafique 1-13, Naimur 1-25) by four wickets