Fan’s dream comes true after sight restored
Blind from his infancy, 19-yearold Bangladeshi cricket fan Samiul Islam finally had the opportunity to see his favourite team in action yesterday after his eyesight was restored following an operation funded by a reality TV show.
Hailing from a poor labourer’s family in northern Sherpur district, 180 kilometres (112 miles) from Dhaka, Islam was brought to Mirpur stadium in the capital to fulfil his dream of watching the Tigers play after his eyesight was successfully restored.
A reality show named Shwapno Dekhe Chokh (Eyes see the dream) funded Islam’s treatment in cooperation with international charity Sightsavers.
Islam, who lost his eyesight when he was only six months old, said he endured a harsh childhood filled with bullying and neglect due to his blindness.
But despite the disability and hardships, he fostered a love for cricket and listened carefully to the commentary during matches. “I use to listen to commentary on the radio and TV. Whenever there was a big match I would go before the TV set. I could not see the game, but for sure, I could hear the commentary and feel the thrill,” Islam said. When asked by the donors what he wished to see first after his operation, Islam said he would love to watch a Bangladesh cricket match live.
“Today my dream came true,” he told AFP during the second one-day international between Bangladesh and England.
“I could see some of my favourite players like Shakib (Al Hasan) and Tamim (Iqbal) play in front of my eyes.”