Keep Active With Sport in Bangladesh
There are two sports in Bangladesh that are celebrated by young and old, rich and poor – cricket and football (soccer). It is not unusual to see groups of children playing these sports with rustic, home made equipment as you make your way through the towns. Many aspire to join one of the great Bangladeshi sporting clubs when they are older. While Bangladesh has not made any waves in the sporting world, certain individuals from this country have excelled in their chosen sport and made the country proud.
Cricket has perhaps the largest following of all. Many Bangladeshis are passionate about the game and the country has a strong domestic league. Bangladesh is able to play Test Cricket against other national teams. The national cricket team is also known as the Tigers. They are named after the Royal Bengal Tiger, the country's national animal. Cricket was introduced to Bangladesh during British rule nearly two centuries ago. While British colonists played the sport in the country, it was largely inaccessible to the common people. All this changed, however, when Bangladesh gained independence in 1971. For the first time the game was open to anyone and everyone and though it grew slowly in its infancy, it soon gained momentum and became the number one sport in the country.
Besides cricket, there are many organized sports such as football, hockey, tennis, badminton, volleyball, handball, chess, carom, wrestling, weightlifting, squash, billiards and snooker. However, many of these sports are not as popular as cricket. Most of the country's sportsmen and women compete at district levels and there are university, armed forces and public sector sporting teams. In response to the country's interest in sporting activities, a large number of sporting clubs have been developed. Some of the most prominent clubs are the Dhaka Wanderers, the Abahani Krirachakra, the Dhaka Mohammedan, the Arambag, the Ajax, the Brothers Union, the Azad, the Dilkusha, the GMCC, the Muktijoddha Sangsad, the Suryatarun, the Kalabagan, the Victoria and the Wari sporting clubs. Often these clubs host national and sometimes even international tournaments, so many of their facilities are kept in the best condition possible. Overall, Bangladeshis are fond of sport and there is a good sporting infrastructure in the country.