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What is the Naagin Dance rivalry between Sri Lanka and Bangladesh?

Mohammad Bilal
Mohammad BilalSep 02, 2022 | 16:04

What is the Naagin Dance rivalry between Sri Lanka and Bangladesh?

Sri Lankan player Chamika Karunaratne does the Naagin dance after Sri Lanka defeated Bangladesh by 2 wickets in the Asia Cup Qualifying match. Photo: Disney+Hotstar/Twitter

When Sri Lanka defeated Bangladesh by 2 wickets in the Super Four qualifying round in Asia Cup on Thursday, one of the players from Sri Lankan team, Chamika Karunaratne, celebrated the win with a dance from the dressing room. The style is known as the Naagin dance or snake dance. The hands raised on the head imitating a hooded cobra. 

It was also mimicked by many Sri Lankan fans to mock the Bangladeshi team that lost a nail-biting thriller.

However, this wasn't the first time a Sri Lankan player did this. Karunaratne had also once done the snake dance.

Who started this dance? It started back in 2017 when Bangladeshi left-arm spinner Najmul Islam Apu was playing for the Rajshahi Kings in the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL), the T20 league.

Najmul, at one point in the match went for a snake dance with his hand raised like a hooded cobra. It surprised his captain Darren Sammy. Najmul Islam had this way of celebrating wickets in domestic cricket. The Bangladesh cricket team also picked it and started doing it during international matches.

Sri Lanka-Bangladesh rivalry: When Najmul made his debut for the Bangladesh team in 2018, he continued his style of hooded snake dance. In the game against Sri Lanka, Najmul picked four wickets including that of the captain Danushka Gunathilaka. His team mates also joined him and copied the snake dance when he took wickets.

  • In the next match, Gunathilaka took two wickets in the 18th over to finish the game in Sylhet. When he got the last wicket of Abu Sayed, he also started doing the snake dance.
  • A month later in 2018, when Bangladesh toured Sri Lanka for Nidadas T20 Trophy, the rivalry intensified between the two sides. After Bangladesh won against Sri Lanka in a chase of 215, Mushfiqur Rahim, who smashed 72 off 35 balls and won the game for Bangladesh, started doing this dance. Sri Lankan team seemed to have noticed it.
  • In the next qualifying match between the two teams at Premadasa Stadium, the two had a bitter face-off.
  • From the starting of the match, the players passed remarks at each other. In the last over when Lanka needed 12 off 5 balls, Bangladeshi substitute player Nurul Hasan had an exchange of words with Sri Lanka batter Thisara Perera over a short ball, when he came on the ground with the drinks.
  • Team captain Shakib-Al-Hasan also got angry from the pavilion and got in an argument with reserve umpire, Lyndon Hannibal. He later, asked his batters to walk back to the dressing room. When batters Mahmudullah and Rubel Hossain, slowly started to walk towards the boundary, Shakib was asked by others to change his mind and the game resumed. Then, on the fifth ball of the over, Mahmudullual hit a six to win the game for Bangladesh. And then the entire Bangladesh team started doing the the snake dance by the entire team.
  • All the Bangladeshi players came on the ground and started doing the Naagin dance.
  • Since, then the dance is reserved as a celebratory taunt between the two teams.
Last updated: September 02, 2022 | 16:04
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