1780: It stands established that organized cricket in India began in Calcutta (current Kolkata), a major city of Bengal.
Early English expatriates banded together to form the Calcutta Cricket Club.
The earliest mention of this club is found in the 48th issue of Hickys Bengal Gazette, dated from Saturday December 16th to Saturday December 23rd, 1780.
Where the newspaper reported that the Gentlemen of the Calcutta Cricket Club are getting themselves into Wind, and preparing to take the Field, for a very active Campaign.
With its tentative year of birth at 1780, the Calcutta Cricket Club becomes senior to the Marylebone Cricket Club, which was established in 1787, by a clear margin of seven years.
The London-based MCC, which was till a few years ago the parent body of cricket, still holds an eminent position in the world of cricket.
1792: Englishmen residing in the districts of Barrackpore and Dum Dum play a cricket match (Source: February 23, 1792, the Madras Courier).
This particular cricket match was in all likelihood played on the “maidan” opposite the Raj Bhavan.
The assumption is based on the reason that a scorecard of another match played in January, 1804, survives to convey to us that teams representing Old Etonians and Calcutta Cricket Club duelled on the same ground.
Incidentally, the year 1792 is officially recognized by Wisden cricket almanac as the date of establishment for Calcutta Cricket Club, making it the oldest surviving cricket club outside the British Isles.
1926: (Unofficial) Test cricket comes to Eden Gardens in Calcutta on the last day of 1926 with Arthur Gilligan leading the MCC team;
India was still not an official test nation. MCC had come at the invitation of Calcutta Cricket Club and the Bengal Gymkhana was one of its principal patrons.
1934: The Ranji Trophy, named after the famous Indian cricket player Ranjitsinhji, commences in India.
1935: The first Bengal team takes part in the second Ranji Trophy.
1947: After the partition of Bengal in 1947, matches of domestic cricket in Pakistan were conducted in four leagues. Regional East Pakistani teams regularly took part in the first-class Quaid-e-Azam trophy from 1954 through 1968.
1955-1969: Seven international test matches with Pakistan participating as the host team were played in Dhaka between 1955 and 1969.
The first test was held between Pakistan and India in January 1955. The match started on the first day of the year.
The newly-built Dhaka Stadium then had the maximum capacity of accommodating 15,000 spectators. According to an old follower of Dhaka cricket, the full house crowd gave a standing ovation to both the captains, Abdul Hafeez Kardar and Vinoo Mankad, as they walked out to toss. The match was drawn.
The next match at the Dhaka Stadium was played between Pakistan and New Zealand from November 7 to 12 the same year. Legendary batsman Hanif Mohammad scored his second Test century (103). Besides, his compatriot Khan Mohammad returned with his career best bowling figures of 6 for 21. This match also ended in a draw.
The third Test was played at the Dhaka Stadium between Pakistan and West Indies in March 1959. In the low-scoring match, Pakistan recorded their only Test win at Dhaka by 41 runs, mainly because of their famous fast bowler Fazal Mahmood, who took 12 wickets, six in each innings, for 100 runs.
Then came Australia in the November of the same year under the leadership of Richie Benaud and they defeated Pakistan by eight wickets. This was also Pakistan’s only Test defeat at Dhaka.
The fifth Test at the Dhaka Stadium was played in January 1962 between Pakistan and England. Although the match ended in a draw, it was a personal landmark for Hanif Mohammad who scored centuries (111 and 104) in both the innings.
The next match was also played between Pakistan and England after seven years in February 1969. The most notable feature of the match was the presence of all-rounder Basil D’Oliveira, who scored an unbeaten 114 in the first innings.
The last, but not the least, Test between Pakistan and New Zealand was played in November of the same year. Kiwi skipper Glen Turner hammered a century (110) in that match, which also concluded in a draw.
1972: The Bangladesh Cricket Control Board is established. Soon after, a cricket league commences in Dhaka and Chittagong. It is a slow start, other things having priority in the war-torn country. Early in 1975 the Dhaka (then “Dacca”) stadium was still in disrepair, the square having sunk several inches and the the Press Club shell-torn.
1974/75: A national level cricket tournament begins in the country. 1st division and 2nd division cricket leagues start at the districts level. Other tournaments that were organised included National Youth Cricket, Inter-university Cricket, College & School Cricket, Shahid Smriti Cricket, Damal Summer Cricket and Star Summer Cricket.
1976/77: Robin Marlar writes Whither Bangladesh?, a detailed description of Bangladesh cricket’s state of affairs and an yearning to see Bangladesh in the international stage. Bangladesh Cricket Board officials become more alert and enthusiastic after this international exposure.
After the completion of the 1975-76 domestic season, Bangladesh Cricket Control Board’s acting secretary Reza-e-Karim writes to the International Cricket Council (then called the International Cricket Conference), requesting ICC membership status for Bangladesh. The ICC replies, suggests the BCCB to invite the Merelybone Cricket Club, and that their decision rests on MCC’s post-tour report.
Reza-e-Karim drafts the first constitution of the BCCB and in May, 1977 invites the MCC to Bangladesh. In June, 1976, the membership of Bangladesh is discussed in an ICC meeting. The meeting decides to finalize Bangladesh’s membership status after the MCC tours Bangladesh.
The MCC arrives at Dhaka for their first Bangladesh tour on December 27, 1976 and helps build the enthusiasm; over 40,000 people attends the representative match at Dhaka.
On July 26, 1977, Bangladesh becomes an Associate member of the I.C.C.
The BCCB seeks coaching help from the MCC. The MCC sends Bangladesh her first foreign cricket coach, an Englishman named Robert Jones.
1978: In January, Sri Lanka, yet to be a test team, tours Bangladesh.
In February, the Deccan Blues, an Indian team comprising of famous first-class cricketers, tours Bangladesh for a three-day match against the BCCB XI.
In December, the MCC arrives in Bangladesh for the second time in a tour that lasts until Jan 14, 1979.
1979: Bangladesh appears in the first ICC trophy in England. Bangladeshis win matches against Fiji and Malaysia.
1980: In January, Pakistan tours Bangladesh for a 2-day match in Chittagong and a 3-day sellout match in Dhaka. The crowd’s misbehavior toward Pakistani players abruptly ends the Chittagong match, and the tour.
1980/81: The MCC tours Bangladesh for the third time.
1982: An Indian first-class team, the Hyderabad Blues, boasting five Indian test players, wisits Bangladesh in January.
In May-July, 1982, Bangladesh takes part in its second ICC trophy competition and finishes fourth among sixteen national teams.
1983: In March, 1983, a West Bengal team tours Bangladesh. In December, Bangladesh follows up with a visit to the Indian state.
1984: In January, 1984, Bangladesh hosts the first ever Sout-East Asia Cup; Singapore and Hong Kong participates. Bangladesh beats Hong Kong in the final to take the trophy.
In February, Bangladesh team tours Kenya for the first time.
Having returned from Kenya, in late February, Bangladesh hosts a series of cricket matches with Pakistan’s PIA and India’s the Hyderabad Blues.
1985: The Sri Lankan test team visits Bangladesh in March for a three-day match in Dhaka.
1986: In January, 1986, the Omar Kureishi XI containing Pakistani test cricketers visits Bangladesh.
In March, 1986, Bangladesh takes part in the Second Asia Cup in Sri Lanka, and plays its first ever one-day international match against Pakistan (Bangladesh was still not a full member of ICC). The tournament gives Bangladesh players international exposure.
In June, 1986, Bangladesh flies to England to take part in the third ICC tropy.
Later in the year, Bangladesh tours Pakistan for the first time.
1988: In January, Bangladesh takes part and wins the second South-East Asia trophy, defeating Hong Kong.
The Third Asia Cup takes place in Bangladesh in October-November 1988 with India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka participating as well as the host country.
1989: In August-September, Bangladesh U-19 team tours England.
In December, 1989, Bangladesh hosts the First Under-19 Asia Cup.
1990: The Deccan Blues, captained by Syed Kirmani, tours Bangladesh in January and February. On February 4, 1990, pyjama cricket comes to Bangladesh, as the first ever day-night match is played in the Dhaka stadium between BCCB U-25 and the Deccan Blues.
In February, 1990, a team from Denmark tours Bangladesh.
In March, 1990, Pakistan and India takes part in a two-match series. Bangladesh, the host country, is a surprising absentee.
In April, 1990, Bangladesh takes part in the Australasia Cup in Sharjah and plays against New Zealand and Australia for the first time in group matches.
In June, 1990, Bangladesh participates in the fourth ICC trophy held in Holland. Bangladesh finishes third in the tournmaent, losing in the semifinal against eventual champions Zimbabwe.
In December, 1990, Bangladesh visits India to take part in the fourth Asia Cup cricket along with India and Sri Lanka.
1990: West Bengal visits Bangladesh in February. A little-known West Bengal batsman Saurav Ganguly scores a century and a half-century to help West Bengal prevail in both matches.
1992: In June, Bangladesh takes part in the third South East Asia cup and wins the trophy again by defeating Hong Kong.
In December, 1992, Bangladesh hosts the first SAARC cricket tournament. But the tournament comes to an abrupt end with two matches to go, as tensions in Dhaka rise after the Babri mosque incident.
1993: In March-April, 1993, the Karachi Airport Gymkhana team tours Bangladesh.
1994: Bangladesh takes part in the fifth ICC Trophy and fails to qualify for the semifinals.
1997: Bangladesh wins the sixth ICC trophy in Malaysia. Bangladesh also becomes a regular ICC member with the right to play one-day internationals.
1998: Bangladesh posts its first ODI win against Kenya in India. In October, Bangladesh hosts (although did not participate in) the first ever “Mini World Cup”, a knock-out ODI tournament featuring all the test playing nations.
1999: Bangladesh performs in the 7th Cricket World Cup in England. In a group match, Bangladesh defeats Pakistan.
1999-2000: A new first-class format National League is launched. The home and away tournament has divisional teams from Dhaka, Chittagong, Sylhet, Khulna, Barisal and Rajshahi.
2000: Bangladesh attains the status of a test playing country on 26 June. Bangladesh’s inagural test match takes place in Dhaka against touring India on 10-14 November, 2000
2004: In December, Bangladesh team wins its 100th ODI with a 15-run victory over World Cup Runners-up India at the Bangabandhu National Stadium in Dhaka, It was Bangladesh’s overall sixth win in one-dayers, but the first ODI victory on home soil. It was also only their third win against a Test-playing nation after defeating Pakistan in the 1999 World Cup in England and beating Zimbabwe in March, 2004.
2005: In January, Bangladesh records their maiden test victory with a thumping 226 runs win over Zimbabwe. This was the 35th test for Bangladesh. Bangladesh team also secures its first ever Test and ODI series wins.
In June, Bangladesh defeats world champions Australia in a Natwest Series ODI match. Mohammad Ashraful is the hero with a run-a-ball century.
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