In the end, Bangladesh women’s team’s hopes were drowned by the rain.

Bangladesh’s final group-stage match of the women’s Asia Cup against the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Tuesday was called off without a ball being bowled due to rain in the morning in Sylhet. Both teams shared the two points, which ruled out Bangladesh, the defending champions, from the race to reach the semifinals.

In their place, Thailand women’s team reached the final four in their maiden appearance in the competition. They finished fourth with six points after six matched. The three other semifinalists are India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

Bangladesh women's team return to the hotel after the match was abandoned
Shamsul Hoque

After the abandoned match, Bangladesh ended up with five points to finish fifth in the seven-team table.

Maybe this is what’s called, ‘nature’s justice’.

In 2022, Bangladesh took part in the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup for the first time. Not just that, their participation in the World Cup also led to their inclusion in the ICC Future Tours Programme (FTP). But all of this happened due to a stroke of luck.

During the 2022 ICC World Cup Qualfiers in Zimbabwe, a new variant of the coronavirus named omicron started spreading rapidly throughout the country. The tournament was then declared null and void and teams were selected for the next World Cup on the basis of ODI rankings.

There was a provision in the playing conditions of the qualifiers that for some reason if the tournament gets cancelled, the three highest ranked teams will qualify for the World Cup. Bangladesh was one of the three highest ranked teams and hence were handed their tickets to the World Cup.

It rained throughout the morning in Sylhet

However, in that tournament, the Thai girls were leading the points-table after defeating Bangladesh, Zimbabwe and the USA. Had Covid-19 not forced the tournament to abruptly stop, the Thai girls were almost certain to play in the World Cup. But back then, the Thai girls didn’t have a Women’s One-Day International (WODI) status and hence were not included in the rankings. That’s why despite good performances, Thailand didn’t make it to the final.

The rain in Sylhet brought up memories of last year’s qualifiers. The incessant rain that began in the morning didn’t stop for even once. The intensity of rainfall subsided for a bit but it soon the heavy rainfall returned.

The Bangladesh team was hoping for a completed match. Had Bangladesh defeated the UAE, who are the weaker team on paper, Bangladesh would’ve edged Thailand in terms of run-rate and qualify for the semifinal. But Sylhet’s rain didn’t allow that.