50 years of victory: Bangladesh’s achievements in sport

(Clockwise) The triumphant U-19 cricket team after winning the 2020 U-19 World Cup in South Africa, the country’s top archers Ruman Shana and Diya Siddiqui, South Asia’s first grandmaster Niaz Murshed and the first Bangladeshi golfer Siddikur Rahman

Let’s take a look at significant sporting successes for Bangladesh in 50 years of victory

On December 16, 1971, Bangladesh became an independent country. Glorious independence has been achieved after a nine-month bloodbath with Pakistan, and Bangladesh celebrates 50 years of victory in 2021. Besides establishing East Pakistan as an independent state, Bangladesh has a significant challenge to raise to make it an economically and socially dependent country. To this end, Bangladesh has made significant progress in various fields over the past five decades, and sport is no exception. Let’s take a look at the significant sporting successes of Bangladesh in 50 years of victory:

Ha-du-du, popularly known as kabaddi is the national sport of Bangladesh. There have been some significant international successes at kabaddi. Cricket has overtaken football as the country’s most popular sport over the past two decades, although football has been most popular in the first three decades following independence. Cricket has become a national obsession in Bangladesh due to the team’s international success. In team sports, field hockey has also had some success. In addition, Bangladeshi athletes have achieved international success in individual sports. Here are some of the remarkable international sporting achievements of Bangladesh.


Only a handful of nations play kabaddi outside of South Asia, as it is most popular in the Indian subcontinent. Therefore, Bangladesh does not face significant international competition. Yet the Bangladesh Kabaddi team has never won a gold medal in a major tournament. They had to settle for silver and bronze most of the time. Bangladesh’s biggest achievements in kabaddi came in the World Cups in 2004 and 2007. They came in third place in both tournaments. Apart from that, Bangladesh won silver at the Asian Games in 1990, 1994 and 2002.


Football is now the second most popular sport in Bangladesh, after cricket. The majority of Bangladeshi men’s football successes over the past five decades have taken place in the 1980s and 1990s. However, the Bangladesh women’s team has made significant strides in recent years. The greatest achievement of the men’s soccer team was winning the Saff championship in 2003. The national team also won a gold medal at the 2010 South Asian Games. In addition, Bangladesh also won the President’s Gold Cup in 1989 and the Four Nations Tiger Trophy in 1995. In recent years, the Bangladesh women’s team has been more successful than the Bangladesh men’s team. The Bangladesh women’s team won silver at the 2016 Saff Championship and bronze at the 2010 and 2016 South Asian Games.


Hockey was one of the most popular sports in Bangladesh in the 1980s and 1990s, but it faded away due to poor international performances. The Bangladesh men’s team won bronze medals at the 1995, 2010 and 2016 South Asian Games. Apart from that, one of the national team’s greatest achievements was fifth place in the Asian Cup 1982.


After winning the 1997 ICC Trophy in Kuala Lumpur, cricket eclipsed all other sports in Bangladesh in terms of popularity. After winning the competition, Bangladesh qualified for the 1999 ICC ODI World Cup. Since then, Bangladesh has regularly competed in all major ICC competitions. On the other hand, the Bangladesh women’s team recently qualified for the ICC ODI 2022 World Cup. Cricket has been Bangladesh’s most important sporting achievement. The Bangladesh cricket team achieved test status in 2000 and have since beaten some of the best teams in the world in this format. The Bangladesh men’s team’s two biggest test victories came against England in 2016 and Australia in 2017. Bangladesh’s best performance in all ICC events was reaching the running backs. -2017 Champions Trophy finals. Apart from that, Bangladesh finished second in the 2012, 2016 and 2018 Asian Cup. Shakib al Hasan of Bangladesh has been regularly named the world’s best all-rounder. He is considered one of the best all-rounders in history. Besides the success of the national team, the Bangladesh U-19 team won the 2020 U-19 World Cup, widely regarded as the country’s greatest sporting achievement. The Bangladesh women’s team surprised the world by winning the 2018 Asian Cup in Malaysia. They defeated a strong Indian team by three wickets in the final. The women’s team rose to prominence after winning the Asian Cup and has continued to improve since then. They also won a gold medal at the South Asian Games in 2019. The women’s team has won a number of bilateral series against some of the best teams in the world. The ICC granted the Bangladesh women’s team full Test and ODI status in April 2021.

Handball, Volleyball, Basketball and Rugby

Handball, volleyball, basketball and rugby are some of the other ball sports federations in Bangladesh. However, neither of these sports has achieved significant international success. The Bangladesh men’s volleyball team won silver at a tournament held in Pakistan in 2009 and the Bangladesh basketball team won bronze at the South Asian Games in 2010. During This time, rugby is a relatively new sport in Bangladesh. Winning the 2018 Asia Rugby Sevens Series bowl final was the best achievement for the Bangladesh rugby team.

Karate, Taekwondo

Bangladesh has a variety of combat sports. Karate has been the most successful of all. Bangladesh have won seven karate gold medals at the South Asian Games so far. Taekwondo, on the other hand, is the most popular combat sport in Bangladesh. The Bangladesh taekwondo team won two gold medals at the 2009 International Open Taekwondo Championships in Seoul, as well as a few gold medals at the South Asian Games.


Golf gradually became a popular sport in Bangladesh after Siddikur Rahman won the 2010 Brunei Open, becoming the first Bangladeshi to win an Asian Tour tournament. Siddikur also made history as the first Bangladeshi to qualify for the Rio 2016 Olympics. He finished 58th in the main event of the 2016 Olympics. Siddikur also won the Hero Indian Open in 2013.


Bangladesh has had some success in chess and produced a number of grandmasters over the years. Niaz Murshed, Ziaur Rahman, Reefat bin-Sattar, Abdullah al Rakib and Enamul Hossain Razib are among them. Niaz is the first South Asian to be honored as Grand Master. International female masters from Bangladesh include Rani Hamid and Shamima Akter Liza. Rani is a three-time winner of the British Women’s Chess Championship and the country’s first WIM.


Archery has been the most successful individual sport for Bangladesh. At the 1990 Commonwealth Games, Ateequr Rahman and Abdus Sattar won gold in the men’s pairs air pistol event, while marksman Asif Hossain Khan won gold in the men’s air rifle event. compressed air at the 2002 Commonwealth Games. Bangladesh also won four silver and two bronze medals in Commonwealth tournaments. Apart from that, Bangladesh have won numerous gold medals at the South Asian Games.


In archery, Ruman Shana won bronze at the 2019 World Archery Championships, making him the first Bangladeshi archer to win a medal in an international tournament. Shana was also a gold medalist at the 2019 Asian Cup, held in the Philippines. In the 2021 Archery World Cup, Diya Siddique and Ruman won silver in the recurve mixed team event.


Bangladesh has produced a number of talented athletes, swimmers and weightlifters over the years. Bangladesh has consistently won international medals in these events. However, all the success came at the South Asian Games. Bangladesh Athletics Federation needs to adopt a more strategic plan to be successful at the Asian Games and the Olympics.

Other sports

Tennis, table tennis and squash all have federations in Bangladesh. Bangladesh’s greatest achievement in tennis was reaching the Davis Cup semi-finals in the Asia / Oceania Zone group in 1989. Bangladesh won a few medals in table tennis at the South Asian Games. In addition, squash in Bangladesh has shown promise, although the country has yet to achieve international success.

Go forward

Cultural and sporting development are two indicators of a country’s economic progress. Bangladesh has had successes in both of these areas in the recent past. In sport in particular, there have been some significant achievements, with cricket accounting for the majority of them. In addition to traditional sports, the most important aspect is that Bangladeshi athletes are also successful in non-traditional sports. Despite some achievements to commemorate 50 years of victory, Bangladesh still has a long way to go to reach the top of the international stage. In such circumstances, the government of Bangladesh should take the initiative to set up professional sports infrastructure. Only after that it will be possible to achieve the desired result on a global platform.

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