Nothing is more delightful for an avid cricket lover to see legends like Sachin Tendulkar, Brian Lara and Sanath Jaysuriya playing together once again after their retirement. And this is what exactly happened at the Road Safety World Series. It was organised by the Road Safety Cell of Maharashtra, India, in order to raise awareness about road safety issues.
It's a reunification of a whole generation of legendary cricketers on a distinct platform which is the most fascinating part of this series.
This series frequently reminded us about the 2011 World Cup hosted by India, when Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar used to open. They often made hundred runs of partnerships and brought the team into a convenient position with the first wicket stand. Sehwag's 153.95 strike rate in the series, which is the highest among the top 5 run scorers, reminds us of the old days.
On the other hand, Sachin Tendulkar showed his actual characteristics of calmness and class by scoring highest runs in the series. Yuvraj Singh was unstoppable with his all-round performance. Even the final match of this series was a resemblance of the 2011 World Cup final took place between India and Sri Lanka. There were similarities in the squads as well.
Team Bangladesh legends recalled the 2004-2005 era while the team struggled to manage a suitable score on the board. It seemed the pre-Shakib-Tamim-Mushfiq era had come back for a while.
All those memories of Hannan Sarker and Javed Omar struggling to manage a good opening partnership, Rafiq getting a crucial breakthrough with his magical slow left arm deliveries, Aftab Ahmed with his fire and fury, revisited us with the series. We have seen the generation that founded the pillar of our cricket playing once again together.
Sanath Jaysuriya and Upul Tharanga who kept the highest opening partnership for so many years padded up together. The series also brought the Caribbean legends Brian Lara, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, and Carl Hopper in the same frame.
English legends Kevin Petersen, Jonathan Trott, Chris Tremlet, and Monty Panesar along with African legends Herschelle Gibbs, Jonty Rhodes, and Albie Morkel were a treat to watch playing again. Brad Hodge, Brad Haddin and Brett Lee represented the famous Aussie era.
There are few certain generations of cricket. Once it was limited to test cricket only. There were very few nations who attended to play cricket. Then came the World Cup cricket in 1975 where the most popular ODI (one-day international) format was initiated. Though, that was a 60-over game per side at that time, it was converted into 50 overs later.
In order to make cricket a more global game, ICC initiated T20 as the modern format. And this has been the most suitable format for such senior players’ series or identical to it, as it is the shortest format.
Few years back, we witnessed a T20 series between the retired legendary cricketers in the USA. India arranged celebrity cricket leagues. And now comes the road safety world series. All these special cricket series are meant for expanding the game’s popularity.
As India lifted the trophy when the curtain fell on 21st March, fans around the world expressed their satisfaction on the social media watching their childhood heroes coming back again. This is a series close to heart, soaked with emotion, and such arrangements in recent times are really getting the life back in cricket.
Shafin Saif is currently studying International Relations at Jahangirnagar University.