Bangladesh ODI captain, Tamim Iqbal on Monday revealed the real story behind his national team’s infamous serpent dance festival during their matches against Sri Lanka in the 2018 Nidahas Trophy. In the third T20I match of the said tournament, Mushfiqur Rahim scored an unbeaten 72. Chasing a mammoth target of 215 runs, Bangladesh chased down a 35-ball five-wicket win over Sri Lanka.
However, more than Rahim’s valor, the match is known for his Naagin dance festival after scoring a winning run for Bangladesh. Rahim’s celebration did not go down well with Sri Lankan followers. And to make matters worse, the entire Bangladesh team performed the serpent dance after beating Sri Lanka again in the 6th T20I match to qualify for the final. The story doesn’t end there, though a Sri Lankan fan took his revenge by mocking him by performing the same dance in the final of the tournament, when India beat Bangladesh by four wickets to take home the Nidahas Trophy.
Following this fiasco, Rahim was criticized by fans and experts alike for introducing the festival.
However, on Monday, Tamim clarified that even though Rahim was a victim of the incident, he did not initiate the celebration. He also revealed that it was introduced by one of his associates, Najmul Islam. According to Tamim, Islam used to celebrate this way after taking wickets in Bangladesh’s home matches and some international matches.
He explained the reason behind Rahim’s celebration, saying that it was Danushka Gunathilaka, who started it after winning the T20I series against Bangladesh in their backyard.
“After the last game in Sylhet. I think it was Danushka Gunathilaka who started doing this after winning that series. After doing this, Rahim saw her and it was on his mind,” Tamim told Russell Arnold and Farvez Mahroof on a YouTube channel ‘Chilling with Russell’.
Tamim also said that both the Sri Lankan and Bangladeshi players have “huge respect” for each other.
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