Raisuddin Ahmed, a dedicated and selfless organiser in the formative years of the country's cricket, passed away yesterday following prolonged illness. He was 82.
The history of Bangladesh's cricket cannot be written without mentioning the contributions of this giant, who was the general secretary of the erstwhile Bangladesh Cricket Control Board from 1975 to 1981 and served as the vice-president from 1991 to 2001.
A renowned organiser, who was also a former director of Biman Bangladesh Airlines, spent all his life with sports and performed key role in various sports bodies; especially worked tirelessly to keep cricket going when there was no money to run the show.
Cricket back then was not a very popular sport in Bangladesh and it was, at best, a second-tier sport and unlike the present day, there was no money in the game and even a cup of tea had to be bought with one's own money. "Raisuddin Ahmed served Bangladesh cricket at a time when the game was struggling to take off. It is due to the selfless efforts of people like him that our cricket is where it is today. On behalf of the board, I extend condolences and sympathies to his family and pray for the salvation of his soul," BCB president Nazmul Hassan said in a condolence message.
Raisuddin was the captain of Dhaka University cricket team, represented the university team in the Quaid E Azam trophy in the pre-independence era and served in many important positions in East Pakistan Sports Federation, Pakistan Basketball Federation and PIA cricket and hockey team.
One of the architects of Bangladesh cricket, Raisuddin, who was admitted to a hospital in Dhaka with Covid-19 on December 25, is survived by his wife, a son, a daughter and host of well-wishers.
"Goodbye Rais Bhai, Raisuddin Ahmed. Bangladesh cricket will forever be indebted to you," wrote veteran sports journalist and writer Utpal Shuvro on a Facebook post paying tribute to the deceased.