Mushfiqur Rahim faced some harsh criticism for his refusal to light the candles at the team hotel in Hambantota where Bangladesh played the first two one-dayers of the series.
It can be debated if the criticism is fair or not as Mushfiq has some valid reasons to speak for him. He was exhausted after a six-hour bus journey and was also upset by the loss of some of his personal belongings.
The moment he checked in at the Udawalawe Grand Safari Resort, Mushfiq realised he had left his bag at the Colombo hotel. The bag had his dollars and some other important documents, so Mushfiq was really concerned.
Sri Lanka cricket team, who later joined the Tigers at the same hotel, carried the bag with them to remove his concern but some damages had already been done with his ambassadorial role being questioned.
So when he was again invited to light the candles at Mahaweli Reach Hotel in Kandy on Thursday night he could not refuse it. He was still a tired man after an intense game and some other off-the-field activities, but the occasion made him really jovial.
The hotel authority arranged the candlelit dinner to celebrate Bangladesh’s win over Sri Lanka and like Mushfiq every Bangladeshi player joined the party spontaneously at the dead of night.
The celebration of Bangladesh’s series equalling three-wicket win was limited to this small programme as they quickly put their attention on the job ahead, the one-off Twenty20 International on March 31.
Bangladesh also celebrated it in their traditional way at the dressing room where the players sang ‘aamra korbo joy’ (we shall win), a song that has long been hailed as the victory song of the Tigers.
Mushfiq gave a long speech in the dressing room once the celebration was
over as part of another tradition at the end of every international series. Insiders said Mushfiq showered Abdur Razzak and Nasir Hossain with praises in his speech for their match-winning contributions in the third match.
Mushfiq hailed the duo earlier at his post-match press conference also.
Razzak grabbed 5-62 to stop Sri Lanka’s run flow and become the first Bangladeshi to take 200 wickets in one-day internationals. Nasir played a cameo of 33 runs from 26 balls in a tricky chase that could have easily gone awry.
‘I congratulate Razzak bhai for becoming the first bowler from Bangladesh to take 200 ODI wickets,’ Mushfiq said in the press conference. ‘He is a tough guy, and he can bowl at the top and at the end so well. Sometimes bowlers feel uncomfortable in certain situations, but he has never said no to me.’
The reason for Mushfiq to feel indebted to Razzak is perhaps the current state of Bangladesh’s bowling. With no quality pacer around and Sakib al Hasan absent injured, Razzak had to shoulder the maximum burden and he did it without any fuss.
The lack of depth in bowling was another reason for Mushfiq to hail the three-wicket win is Bangladesh’s biggest ever abroad. Bangladesh defeated Australia and England in England, South Africa and India in West Indies, but never were they so much depleted like this series.
‘You know we have lost some of our key players to injuries, so it was a great challenge and the pressure was there but we still won the match to draw the series which I think is the biggest win against a major team abroad,’ he said.
-With New Age input