Gordon Greenidge, the West Indies great who was one of Bangladesh’s earliest foreign coaches in the late 1990s, always knew Bangladesh cricket would one day overcome their difficult start in the quest for international cricket. Even now, he is proud of what they have achieved, having seen first-hand their more fallow days when he was appointed coach in 1996.
Greenidge, who later guided Bangladesh to their first World Cup appearance in 1999, was accorded a reception by the BCB on Tuesday, with many cricketers from his time meeting him after nearly two decades. In a rare reunion, the likes of Akram Khan, Minhajul Abedin, Mohammad Rafique and Khaled Mashud, among others, shared hugs, laughs and stories with Greenidge, whom many considered a father figure during his four-year tenure as head coach.
“I did believe Bangladesh cricket would grow,” Greenidge said. “It always had the potential to grow. It is difficult to measure the quality of Bangladesh cricket. Before, we were only playing one-day cricket. It was nice to see the players meeting the demands of the highest standards and more extensive games at the international arena. It was always going to be a difficult task to rise to the international standard.
“I am happy to say that they have done it exceptionally well. It is not always the case that you have continuous success. I can see Bangladesh cricket actually keep its head high and be able to compete credibly at the international stage.”
The BCB also presented Greenidge with a Bangladesh jersey, a tie and a watch. It also donated Tk 500,000 for the Gordon Greenidge Primary School and library in Barbados.
Greenidge said that while his departure was “disappointing” – he was unceremoniously discharged soon after Bangladesh’s famous win over Pakistan in the 1999 World Cup – he has moved on. “The parting was disappointing. I would have liked to spend more time with Bangladesh cricket, but it wasn’t to be. I have no ills. These things happen.”
Greenidge said that he hoped to stay in touch with old friends in Dhaka. “I cherish all my memories here in Bangladesh. I just met [Gazi Ashraf] Lipu after some time. I believe [Tanjeeb Ahsan] Saad is not well. I had a good communication channel, which was lost. Now that we have met again, I sincerely hope that we can renew that relationship and continue where we left off.”