FIFA World Cup 2022’s victorious goalkeeper, Emiliano Martinez, paid a courtesy visit to the office of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the city on Monday.
During their meeting, the Prime Minister commended the Argentine footballer for his exceptional performance, which played a significant role in securing the Football World Cup 2023 title. She expressed her admiration, stating, “You are the man who brought glory to Argentina. I wish you continued success.” The Prime Minister’s Press Secretary, Ihsanul Karim, briefed reporters following the meeting.
Prime Minister Hasina acknowledged the worldwide popularity of football and the immense enthusiasm for the game among Bangladeshis. Highlighting her family’s affinity for sports, she shared, “My father and grandfather were footballers.” The Prime Minister also mentioned her government’s efforts in constructing mini-stadiums at the upazila level across Bangladesh to promote football and other sports.
Emiliano Martinez, the recipient of the Golden Gloves award at the FIFA World Cup 2022, expressed his overwhelming joy upon learning about the sizable fanbase of Argentine football in Bangladesh. “I am delighted to be here and to discover the passion for football among Bangladeshis,” he remarked.
Accompanying Martinez were Satadru Dutta, the Indian organizer and Founder of the A Satadru Dutta initiative, and Santiago Liotta, an Italian lawyer and personal manager of Martinez.
Several dignitaries were present during the meeting, including LGRD and Cooperatives Minister Md Tazul Islam, Prime Minister’s Private Industry and Investment Adviser Salman Fazlur Rahman, State Minister for LGRD and Cooperatives Swapan Bhattacharjee, State Minister for Foreign Affairs M Shahriar Alam, Prime Minister’s Principal Secretary M Tofazzel Hossain Miah, Sheikh Helal Uddin MP, and Sheikh Tonmoy MP.
ICC World Cup Trophy Ignites Fervor Amongst Bangladeshi Cricketers
On a Tuesday morning, the cherished trophy adorned the home of cricket, the Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium. It was Mushfiqur’s privilege to cradle the trophy, gently placing it on an improvised display table. The national team members, who are currently stationed in Dhaka, congregated at the Sher-e-Bangla stadium to behold the trophy’s splendor and seize moments with it through photographs.
Standing beside the trophy for a photo op, Mushfiqur contemplated, “I consider myself extraordinarily fortunate to have represented Bangladesh in four World Cups. We maintain the conviction of delivering exceptional performance, aspiring to surpass our past World Cup feats.”
Mushfiqur also underlined the necessity for the Tigers, Bangladesh’s national cricket team, to excel in order to achieve greater outcomes. “A strong start is of paramount importance. Over the past four to five years, we’ve exhibited remarkable cricket in ODIs. The imminent World Cup presents an excellent opportunity for emerging players to showcase their talents. Our squad boasts a combination of youthful potential and seasoned players. I am optimistic that they will synergize effectively,” Mushfiqur elaborated.
Taskin Ahmed, the right-handed fast bowler, exhibited heightened enthusiasm during the photo session with the World Cup trophy. “Our pace unit has relentlessly invested effort over the past few years,” Taskin exclaimed. “It is truly heartening to acknowledge that our pace unit is collectively performing well. I have confidence that in the forthcoming years, we can outshine our current accomplishments.”
A prominent figure at the event was Rangana Herath, the Sri Lankan cricket legend and Bangladesh’s spin coach. He emphasized the pivotal role expected of spinners in this year’s World Cup in India. “I firmly believe spinners like Shakib (Al Hasan) and Mehidy (Hasan Miraz) will be instrumental for Bangladesh in the World Cup,” he asserted. “We are presently conducting a preparatory camp. I have unwavering faith that our spin arsenal is fully equipped to tackle any challenges that may arise.”
The World Cup trophy photo session was graced not only by members of the men’s national team but also by cricketers from the Bangladesh women’s team. Nigar Sultana Joty, captain of the women’s team, expressed her optimism, noting that the men’s team has exhibited commendable performance in ODIs, elevating expectations for this year’s World Cup.
Former captains Akram Khan, Naimur Rahman, and Khaled Mahmud also partook in the event, striking poses for photographs with the coveted World Cup trophy.
Tomorrow (August 9), the World Cup trophy will be showcased at the Bashundhara City Shopping Mall in Dhaka, open to the public. The program will commence at 11 in the morning and extend until 8 in the evening, granting the public a firsthand encounter with the cherished trophy.
Tamim Iqbal announces tearful Retirement from Cricket
Bangladesh cricket star Tamim Iqbal has shocked the cricketing world by announcing his retirement from international cricket just three months before the upcoming World Cup in India. The decision comes after a reported disagreement between Tamim, the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) president Nazmul Hassan, and coach Chandika Hathurusingha regarding his fitness and ability to play at full strength.
Tamim made the emotional announcement during a sudden press conference held at the Hotel Tower Inn in Chattogram. The timing of the conference was arranged at short notice, with Tamim texting reporters the night before and the venue being finalized in the morning. Originally scheduled for 12 pm, the conference was later rescheduled for 1.30 pm.
In his heartfelt statement, Tamim revealed that the recent flare-up of his back issue, which forced him to sit out of the one-off Test against Afghanistan, played a significant role in his decision. Despite making himself available for the first ODI to assess his ability to adapt, Tamim acknowledged the need to prioritize the team’s interests over his own.
Tamim’s form and captaincy have faced criticism recently, with his fitness being a recurring concern as he has missed several matches. While he has achieved success as captain in ODIs, winning 21 out of 35 completed matches, the past few months have been tumultuous for Tamim. Earlier this year, BCB president Nazmul revealed a rift between Tamim and his longtime friend and teammate Shakib, leading to additional scrutiny.
With 8,313 runs in 239 ODI innings at an average of 36.6, Tamim retires as Bangladesh’s most prolific ODI batsman, boasting 14 centuries and 56 fifties. In Tests, he accumulated 5,134 runs in 70 matches at an average of 38.9, including 10 hundreds and 31 fifties. Tamim had already retired from T20Is in 2021, where he remains the only Bangladeshi batsman to score a century, amassing 1,758 runs at a strike rate of 116.96.
Tamim’s unexpected retirement creates a significant void in the Bangladesh cricket team, as they now face the challenge of finding a suitable replacement for their accomplished opening batsman just months before the highly anticipated World Cup in India.
Neymar Fined $3.3m for Environmental Rule Breach
Soccer sensation Neymar has been slapped with a hefty fine of 16 million reais ($3.3 million) by a Brazilian prosecutor for illegally excavating a lake at his mansion near Rio de Janeiro.
The Mangaratiba town council issued four fines related to environmental rule breaches during the construction of an artificial lake on Neymar’s property. The penalties include unauthorized environmental work, diversion of river water, and removal of land and vegetation without proper permits. Neymar, who has 20 days to contest the fine, had initially been facing a penalty of five million reais.
The violations were discovered after complaints circulated on social media, leading authorities to halt all construction activities on the site. Despite the ongoing controversy, Neymar’s representatives have not yet responded to media requests for comment. The 31-year-old star player, currently recuperating from ankle surgery, faces uncertainties regarding his future with Paris Saint-Germain. Acquired in 2016, Neymar’s luxurious mansion in Mangaratiba spans an expansive 10,000 square meters and boasts amenities such as a heliport, spa, and gym.
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