COMMENT: By Andrew Alderson in London
"Pressure is a Messerschmitt up your arse, playing cricket is not."
This wisdom, spoken by the legendary Australian all-rounder Keith Miller about air combat with German planes in World War II, must surely reside in the First XI of sporting quotes.
Yes, it is oft-used, but only because it reflects the relative joy of taking to a cricket field compared to the trepidation of launching into the skies for the Allies versus the Axis powers.
The gem from the man known as "Nugget" came to mind as Bangladesh prepare to play New Zealand at the World Cup.
The Tigers missed the March 15 mosque terror attacks by seconds when their bus pulled up outside the Al Noor establishment after the barbarism had been committed.
The Christchurch atrocity occurred about one kilometre from Hagley Oval, where the third test was due to start the next day. Crucially the Bangladeshi side, a group predominantly of Islamic faith, exited practice late en route. Captain Mahmudullah's press conference overran and, courtesy of other dressing room delays, the team arrived to witness the result of a massacre which eventually cost 51 lives.
Death surrounded the players on the street, panic reigned on the bus, and emergency calls were placed to the media pack. After forcing their way off the vehicle, the group fled back to the haven of Hagley Oval, meeting the journalists who came to their aid in transit.
New Zealand Cricket abandoned the test within three hours.
Yesterday NZME revealed the shadow of that horror lingers . The destination of where the Bangladesh side prayed ahead of this match remained secret. The players are wary about forecasting their movements in England as they piece together a shattered confidence in humanity, much like the Sri Lankan side had to do a decade ago when their bus was attacked in Lahore.
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Paradoxically "The Miller Theory" also makes Bangladesh an unbridled force at this World Cup. They've escaped an appointment with death, and are liberated as a consequence. Evidence came in the victory against South Africa where they posted and defended their record ODI score of 330 for six. Suddenly they became many fans' second favourite team at the tournament.
At the pre-match media conference, coach Steve Rhodes acknowledged how his players' lives have changed in the interim.
"I have got so much respect for the way that they have handled themselves after that event.
"It helps, in many ways, that awful day in Christchurch and the shootings. They have some sort of brotherhood there now. They have shared with other Muslims who sadly perished.
"I think it somehow gelled them and they've actually got solace from each other. There's a lot of smiley faces at the moment, and going back to that day in Christchurch I was thinking: How do we get our team back together?"
Other positive stories have emerged.
In a nod to carpe diem, Mehidy Hasan Miraz and Mustafizur Rahman decided to marry their respective partners within days of arriving home.
In a separate piece of fortune, the Bangladeshis will be physically stronger for the round robin match against New Zealand.
Three players – Mahmudullah, Mushfiqur Rahim and Mehidy – all of whom played significant roles during the win over South Africa, did so while observing the Ramadan fasting rules of no food and water between dawn and dusk.
Mushfiqur made 78 off 80 balls before keeping wicket and enacting the run out of Quinton de Kock; Mahmudullah blasted 46 not out off 33 balls towards the end; and Mehidy's flight and spin captured the wicket of South African captain Faf du Plessis for 62. What will they be like now they can hoe in at the buffet again?
The Eid festival, celebrating Ramadan's end began yesterday. The players celebrated by tucking in at a restaurant in Mayfair. They are living life like there's no tomorrow, because that could so easily have been the case.
Bangladesh can embody the Miller legacy at this tournament. New Zealand, and anyone else for that matter, beware.