International cricket returns to Rajshahi after 13 yrs

Shaheed AHM Kamaruzzaman Divisional Stadium in RajshahiTwitter

The first ever international cricket match in Rajshahi in 13 years started Thursday morning with the ODI match between Bangladesh U19 and Pakistan U19, reports BSS.

The match started at 9.30 am at the Shaheed AHM Kamaruzzaman Divisional Stadium in the city.

Arefin Islam, venue manager of Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) in Rajshahi, on Wednesday said, “A total of three ODI matches will be played between Bangladesh U19 and Pakistan U19 on 11, 13, and 15 May followed by a T20 match between the two teams on 17 May.

He also said all sorts of necessary preparations have been taken to make the series a success.

Meanwhile, both teams reached Rajshahi on Tuesday afternoon ahead of the ODI series and the officials concerned welcomed and warmly received them at Hazrat Shah Makhdum Airport in Rajshahi.

Khaled Masood Pilot, the former captain of the Bangladesh National Cricket team, said there has not been any international match in Rajshahi for many years.

“The U19 and U18 matches will mark the beginning of a new chapter here. It will benefit the Rajshahi Cricket Stadium in the long run,” he said.

“Shahid AHM Kamaruzzaman Divisional Stadium is one of the biggest cricket venues in the country's northwest region but has been neglected for long,” the former skipper added.

Shahid AHM Kamaruzzaman Divisional Stadium was built in 2004 with a capacity of 15,000 spectators. The stadium hosted three group stage matches of the U-19 Cricket World Cup in 2004 and four matches of the 2010 South Asian Games.

After that, international matches were stopped due to the lack of only three-star or five-star hotels in Rajshahi. It also lost the status of a test venue later.